Transgender people are some of the bravest Americans I know. But no person should have to be brave just to live in safety and dignity.
Today, on Transgender Day of Visibility, I renew my commitment to building a healthy, safe, free, and just future for trans people everywhere. https://t.co/sR5pHvkSHU
— President Biden (@POTUS) March 31, 2023
The T in LGBTQ+ is never silent. #TransVisibilityDay pic.twitter.com/bt9NuTCWez
— KAMALA NATION (@KamalaNation) March 31, 2023
Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin and his family were at the White House today to meet with Biden https://t.co/reagwKzMvf
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) March 30, 2023
Damar, you've made me – and your country – proud.
Looking forward to watching you lead the way back on the field. pic.twitter.com/ljROej9NBe
— President Biden (@POTUS) March 31, 2023
More good news:
At a time when millions of Americans are dying prematurely from deaths of despair, @JohnFetterman's choice to be so public with his depression is an act of tremendous courage and a huge mitzvah. This is what leadership looks like. https://t.co/s5HMHZw4OO
— Max Berger (@maxberger) March 31, 2023
Per the Washington Post:
Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) has been discharged from the hospital and his depression is now in remission, his office said Friday…
“According to Dr. Williamson, Senator Fetterman’s depression is now in remission,” Fetterman’s office said in a statement. “With the Senate in recess for the next two weeks, Senator Fetterman will spend time with his family and constituents in Pennsylvania, and return to Washington, D.C. when the Senate session resumes on April 17th.”…
Fetterman said he’ll have “more to say about this soon.”
“But for now I want everyone to know that depression is treatable, and treatment works,” he said. “This isn’t about politics — right now there are people who are suffering with depression in red counties and blue counties. If you need help, please get help.”…
house republicans are wasting time and resources because they're unable and unwilling to perform the actions required of a responsible federal governing body, or, in other words, it's a day that ends in Y
— GOLIKEHELLMACHINE (@golikehellmachi) March 31, 2023
The media always gotta portray the GOP as aggressive and manly.
I’m pretty impressed there hasn’t been a lot of hemming and hawing among Dems on trans support. Usually there is a faction that needs a little push to get to the right place.
@Baud: They may have learned a lot with gay marriage.
Everyone is hung over from cake.
Had some excitement yesterday. Tornado warnings all over the place, apparently one was sighted over Bourbon where I lived for almost 10 years. Thankfully none ever touched down here in Misery. The wife was super paranoid with her ears attached to the weather radio (I did not blame her, earlier in the day I had made sure the storm shelter door was in good working condition) while I was sitting on the front porch and looking at a blue sky filled with angry clouds trying to come together on who they were gonna fuck up. One storm cell did eventually pass over but it was nothing but wind and a spattering of rain drops.
Much ado about nothing.
And a Happy April Fools Day to to fools near and far!
@OzarkHillbilly: I’m glad, but it is the season so expect more.
We’re having a thunderstorm just north of Atlanta, but I’m outside the tornado watch area.
Biden is such a good man.
April’s Fools Day is tomorrow.
@OzarkHillbilly: T-storm passing right now here in Southern MD, but the cells are still pretty widespread. Lots of wind, though.
@JPL: That part of his job is one of the many I would utterly fail at. I can’t make conversation.
eta: I once saw a tornado trying to form up directly over our house, rotating clouds and all. It was a pretty cool thing to see.
@Spanky: We still have high winds, lots of gusting. That cold front was a pretty strong one.
Joe sounds tired. Really concerns me. I truly love that man and he has far, far exceeded my expectations as President.
I’m tired today, after a mostly good but tiring week at work, and I have to go to an all-day work thing (yes, on a Saturday!!), but I just told myself that Joe would drag his tied ass to the work thing and be his best all day, so that is what I will do.
@Spanky: I’m inside the Capital/DC Beltway in Maryland, and a very close lighting strike woke us up at 5:45 a.m. I’ve been up since. Ugh. No lightning or thunder since, thankfully.
Good Morning, Everyone😊😊😊
Drought or no drought? California left pondering after record winter deluge
@OzarkHillbilly: Glad you’re OK!
@Baud: This interesting article on abortion politics in “The Cut” (forget if it was linked to from here or elsewhere) portrays Biden as reluctant to be full-throated on abortion rights given his Catholic background and past outright opposition–but, interestingly, also points to Kamala Harris as the administration’s most forthright advocate.
But even Biden doesn’t seem to be reserved on this at all, and it’s kind of remarkable given that vocal support for trans rights would have been an out-there position even recently; even if you were for it, it was this kind of marginal thing. Happening days after an event that might have been a Reichstag Fire-level pretext for institutional oppression under a different administration, it’s important.
Mr. Suzanne and the Spawns are visiting his parents. SuzMom is still in the hospital but may get sent home today. Her dog, Chica, is very upset without her. That dog hates me. I think she also considers me an abuser, since I’m the one who clips her nails!
Dr. Jakyll and Miss Deride
@OzarkHillbilly: In California, the normal yearly rain should barely supply us with enough. The problem is, we almost never have a “normal” year — it’s always boom or bust, and that was true even before climate change went into overdrive.
Since football has been mentioned here, it looks like the right time to close out the “St. Bees Saga” as follows:
There was an old man of St. Bees
Who was blocked by a fierce Pekingese.
As he started to fall
He lost hold of the ball,
But he took out that Pekingese’ knees!
@Baud: @sab: and probably Dobbs too. Republicans are bullies, it does no good to be wishy-washy with bullying, and doing the right thing can be a political winner.
@Matt McIrvin: Trans is odd for Catholics. Don’t get me wrong — many Catholics including bishops will take their cues from the GOP as they do in so much else. But there’s not really a clear tradition on this or strong body of teaching. And the fact is, there are many what I can only call trans saints — people identified as women who took men’s names and male dress and lived as men (as monks and abbots). I mean, look at Joan of Arc, though they didn’t change their name. So there is wiggle room here for someone like Biden.
Dems have been consistent on abortion for a long time. The response to Dobbs doesn’t surprise me.
“Full throated” is one of those words like “neoliberal” that raises red flags for me.
@Suzanne: Hoping SuzMom feels better soon! What an ordeal for you all.
@Dr. Jakyll and Miss Deride: Too bad this is the end of the St. Bees Saga. I enjoyed them all!
@Baud: Dems have been consistent on abortion rights, but the rhetoric in the 1990s-2000s was playing on Republican turf–“abortion should be safe, legal and rare”, emphasizing that strong reproductive rights are often associated with lower abortion rates, etc. Tacitly acknowledging the frame in which an abortion was always some kind of tragic occurrence. And it was because in a Roe environment the big political turnout energy was always on the anti-abortion side. After Bush was reelected in 2004 I remember liberals starting to say that Democrats should just throw abortion rights under the bus, go hard anti-abortion because it was the only way they would ever win a national election again.
I do think Dobbs shifted the whole situation and I’m also not surprised that older Democratic men would be slow to respond to this.
It’s a good article though- offers an example of what “full throated” looks like. This is Whitmer’s state of the state:
There hasn’t been any federal action advancing or securing womens rights since the Violence Against Women Act (1994) – the article is genuinely exploring why that might be. I don’t know if the author is correct that the fact that we don’t have child care subsidies and have a truly awful maternal and child mortality rate (for example) is due to a lack of “full throated”, coherent advocacy, but it might be, because it’s a fact women in general are not doing that well in the US.
@Matt McIrvin: Read that yesterday, and it’s a worthwhile article, especially the report on Michigan, and Traister is a fine writer. But she always has and maybe always will have a tendency to perceive Biden in a negative light. I get that — I was a huge Biden skeptic in 2020. But I never expect Traister to be fair to him so factor in a grain of salt.
This was interesting to me because I think about it a lot- how all national efforts to assist women, specifically, always fail. I think chid care assistance has never gained any traction in the US because there’s a recognition that women would be the primary beneficiaries of it – that’s why it’s considered politically impossible. I had not connected the protection of basic bodily autonomy to that (abortion rights) but I’ll consider it, because it’s true. If it’s primarily for women in the US, it fails.
@Kay: There was a push for national federally funded day care way back in the 70s, and my impression is that it failed because of Republicans overtly expressing fears that it would destroy the nuclear family with stay-at-home mom if the masses could afford day care. It seems like there was simultaneously a far more conservative median of norms, and a willingness to entertain feminist policy proposals that were far more radical than anything that gets floated today.
It’s especially interesting when you consider that opposition to womens rights increases with negative views on women. People (not just men- true for women too) who view women negatively are more likely to be anti choice and more likely to oppose federal efforts to assist women. The split isn’t tied to gender- it’s tied to negative views on women, so Republican women are less supportive of womens rights than men who describe themselves as “independent” are. Republican women have more negative views on women- think they’re liars or manipulative or bad employees, etc.
So, effective “full throated” advocacy really COULD make a difference because it might shift views in a pro women direction which aligns with supporting the freedom of women.
@Matt McIrvin: I’ve always found the “OMG rhetoric” argument pretty weak sauce. The GOP does not want abortion to be safe or legal.
@Kay: Someone is always going to use stronger rhetoric than someone else. I find “full throated” is often used to make marginal differences seem vast, and to attribute all of our problems to those “vast” differences.
ETA: I’m not against the idea of being “full throated” per se.
@Kay: True. I don’t have a feel for how it would play out in an election, but I’d be thrilled if the national party used MI as a model for 2024.
I saw a Tweet yesterday where a big company has hired a DJ to entertain the employees at lunch in an effort to get them to like being back on site at work. One woman Tweeted back “child care- that might work”
We’re such a goofy, unserious country. Child care assistance is forbidden by our dumb, archaic “norms” so we’ll give you this stupid DJ as a consolation prize.
@Kay: But but but but they are all one big happy family.
My computer just gagged.
@Princess: Interesting bit about (potentially) trans Catholic saints. I recently read a post by a rabbi who listed examples of trans acceptance hiding in plain sight in various Jewish writings but in one eye, out the other, can’t recall anything other than I read it.
But once you accept something is true, you notice all the places it has always been, waiting for you to finally be able to see it.
Whitmer’s really sharp politically. Both of her parents were political. She takes a certain amount of risk, which I admire. In the article she says she made it impossible to separate abortion rights from the rest of her “brand” so she was essentially going down with it if that issue went down. It’s brave, and it’s always fun to see people who put it all out there win. I already owned a house in Michigan and I’m attached to the Great Lakes so any move was always going to be proximaty to one of the lakes, but she’s part of my decision to move to MI full time. I just want to be part of that progressive, positive vision where she (they- there’s a whole team of women now) marries economic issues to civil rights so cleanly and fearlessly.
@Suzanne: My mom had a little dog who was terrified of me. It was unfair because I actually saved that damn dog by stealing her as a half-grown pup from the backyard of some abusive creeps who left her outside 24/7, including with no water in the blazing hot summer, and gave her to a dog lover who pampered her for the next 14 years! But the dog feared and hated me. I think she thought I was in league with her former abusers.
@Kay: Whitmer is awesome. I hope she runs for president someday.
I would hate a DJ at lunch – I think it should be quiet enough to hear people – but I’m old and I’ve brought lunch to work for 30 years so I’m not the audience.
@Suzanne: The last comment I saw from you, you were in the ER with SuzMom. Never saw what the doctors decided she did to herself — bruised or broken hip?
I’m thinking she wouldn’t be almost ready to go home if she had broken her hip. At any rate, glad she’s on the mend.
Dr. Jakyll and Miss Deride
@Betty Cracker: As in “tried to push Tara Reade on us long after most people had seen through her”? (Along with Chris Hayes.) I have found it almost impossible to forgive or forget for that one.
The Democratic Party has become louder and more united in being liberal over the last decade and a half. That is certainly true. Women-specific issues have been big points in official policy at least since 2016. After Hillary lost, the issue was not abandoned. Like a lot of things, Republicans are fanatically against any pro-women action, and just a big enough fringe of Democrats… we’ll, I’m looking at you, Sinema and Manchin.
And I’m serious about Republicans. The Republican position, although they won’t frame it this way, is ‘rape should be legal.’ It is freakishly retrograde.
I think it goes back to the 80s. There was a giant cultural backlash in the 80s against feminism. I grew up in it, drowning in this explosion of toxic masculinity. Men should be assholes, their value was based solely on sexual success, and losers/virgins should be abused. Women are prizes and measured accordingly. It ruled a generation, and as the next generation has moved in, the tide turned the other way culturally. Like a lot of bigotry issues, the once-dominant misogynists are shrieking and violently attacking whoever they can, but mainstream culture wants women to be people too, now.
I spend more and more time in MI as part of my incrediby slow move there, and the anti choice side in Michigan went with this VERY online message that used trans rights to demonize abortion rights- the pitch was voting for womens autonomy meant…. all children would be transitioning without parental consent. But I was in Michigan during this period talking to normies and a good part of them had no idea what Right wingers were talking about- like, none. They were confused because they don’t actually spend all day on Right wing Twitter or listening to Joe Rogan or the rest of the Righties.
There’s a whole cottage industry of “centrists” among Democrats who warn Democrats “Twitter is not real life” but it’s actually the far Right that is WAY too online in a lot of their political messaging. It’s fucking cryptic at this point. You need to have this entire Right wing backstory to understand one of their yard signs.
What would those be? They did attempt child care in the House, so there’s that, but I said that. Is there something else?
I’ve always hated the but… side of abortion approval/legislation. All those who support women should be saying – abortion should be legal and safe. The end. I have no interest in any other options for any woman. Whether related to me or not, whether known to me or not, abortion is the woman’s right and I don’t have any right or desire to be involved. I see no reason why it should be rare – it should happen as many times as requested.
What I have found infuriating in my world – also related to women and reproduction – I had my tubes tied many years ago & I had to get my husband’s permission to do this. If he had not given permission he would not have remained my husband – but why was it his decision. I was the one who wanted no more children. If he wanted more – he could go find someone else to have them with.
At the time – and I believe still existing today – a man can get a vasectomy without needing his wife’s permission. Women are indeed, still legally the loser in this situation. Under the control of someone else.
Nationally funded day care is available in Australia – the big winners – private day care companies. The co pay is still large for many families – the government subsidy is based on family income. It is usually, of major benefit to single parent families and lower income couples.
Traister has been dead to me since she pushed the Tara Reade story so hard. If she’d had her way, it would have ended in Trump’s re-election.
Meanwhile, another Idaho hospital is shutting down their obstetrics practice. I can’t plane them. Imagine being forced to sit and watch as a woman turns septic and begins to bleed out when there’s an easy procedure they all know how to do but the state will jail them if they do it.
@Ohio Mom: it was in the FNYT.
Mexico now has a lot more protections for womens bodily autonomy and agency than many US states. It’s not good- not going in the right direction.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
@OzarkHillbilly: PA was having a drought shortly after we moved here and for awhile I was frequently checking out groundwater data. As I recall, a few heavy rains is not enough to recharge the aquifers, that’s a slow process.
It’s also worth noting that our loudest leftist voice, Bernie Sanders, has never pushed for publicly funded day care even though right on the border of his state, there’s a Canadian province that has had it for years. He can practically see Montréal from his house.
Child care? Maternity leave? Bringing back the ERA? Contraception coverage in the ACA? When Dobbs was overturned, it became one of two things the filibuster was specifically on the chopping block for. The whole Kavanaugh debate was that Hell, no, Democrats we’re not having a rapist in the Supreme Court, while Republicans were frothing that we thought that was an issue.
Democrats have been increasingly pro-women for awhile.
@Kay: The one actual QAnoner I personally know got there through anti-abortion politics. Her posts on politics started out as anti-abortion rants that got more and more extreme, then started to incorporate this other conspiracy material, and at some point they just became incomprehensible unless you were already marinating in the sauce of QAnon. Like, the individual sentences just made no sense on their face. Word salad.
I do think that if they’re losing the center, that’s part of it. The statements just turn into in-group signaling that cannot even be understood from outside. It’s more insular than any supposed bubble of social-media cancel culture.
We’re an outlier in North America at this point on womens rights- and in the wrong direction, if one defines North America as Canada, the US and Mexico. I suppose we’re still ahead of some central American countries but I’d have to check. It’s in no way a given.
@TS: It’s absolutely outrageous that you had to get permission!
And this is a sign that Democrats haven’t been solidly pro-women how?
@Suzanne: Enjoy your me time.
The first Q person I encountered was in the court system – ahead of when it came to my attention politically. They were making ridiculous claim in an abuse, neglect and dependency case that the MOTHER in the case had been trafficked as a child. I spoke to them in the hallway at the courthouse (they were ultimately excluded from the case because their “intervenor” motion was insane with no legal basis) and they were telling me they had a you tube channel that was their sole means of support- two adults, in their thirties, man and woman (a couple). They had been harrassing this women they believed to be traffcked for months- she was begging the court to get them to leave her alone. They managed to get a state rep in Wisconsin on board with their crusade- she called me. The story was the child had been trafficked from Wisconsin to central America and then landed in Ohio as an adult.
When Q exploded nationally I was “OH, THAT’S what they were!”
Daoud bin Daoud
@Baud: Full-throated red-breasted neoliberals are dirty birds!
Because we’re going backward and we have been going backward for 30 years while the rest of the world catches up and surpasses us. Dobbs was just the end of the attacks on womens bodily autonomy – the culmination, the victory. The Right has been chipping away at it for 30 years. We were complacent. I think some blue states are complacent right now- NY, for example. NY could turn Right. They need to be proactive while they have majorities like CA, NM, MI, MN, IL have done. It’s an emergency.
@Ceci n est pas mon nym: Yep, it takes a long time for the water to get down there and more than a few good rains to do it.
The expansion of the child care credit for tax year 2021 significantly helped women and families.
In addition, because the credit was refundable for 2021, lower income taxpayers got benefit of the full credit even if they did not owe any federal income tax.
It would have been great if the expanded credit was still available as more people returned to the office. But opposition from the usual suspects, the GOP and Joe Manchin, made sure that the expanded credit was limited to a single year.
As always, lower income families were hurt the most, while right wing idiots claimed that undeserving poor people just wanted free money.
That is the correct definition of North America.
@Kay: This was from January.
Gin & Tonic
I hesitate to disagree with the premise of AL’s post, but it is not, in fact, a good morning as a genocidal dictatorship becomes the head of the UN Security Council.
Well, free money is rightfully reserved for their corporate donors.
Deputinize Eurasia from the Kuriles to St Petersburg
First Amendment jurisprudence should have always allowed for abortion – the bans are absolutely an imposition of religious doctrine as a matter of law.
@narya: Thanks! I found it!
A national child care subsidy program passed both houses of congress by nearly veto-proof margins. Then the legend has it that Pat Buchanan convinced Nixon not to sign it at the past minute.
@Dr. Jakyll and Miss Deride:
It was that way in S Oregon when I Moved there in 2001. Klamath County “settlers” were feuding with “Indians” over water rights, bringing in racism and good old rural violence. Elsewhere a good rainstorm meant fretting that the new growth would add to fires when it died in the summer.
@Betty Cracker: Same thing happened to me, in the early 80’s. I had to have my husband present for the discussion, so they knew he was in agreement. Ultimately, I did not get the surgery, as the doctors felt I might change my mind.
I’m 65 now, I still have not changed my mind.
I’m suggesting that the Democratic Party would do well to listen to happy warrior Whitmer on womens rights and also shrill and impolite and bad team player feminist Traister who is pissed her rights have been rolled back rather than listiening to the soothing dulcet tones of male Democratic centrists who told us for the last 30 years that we were hysterical and everything was fine, arc of the universe, blah blah, wait your turn, at some point we’ll get around to it.
The Right was moving and we were standing still congratulating each other on our progress. Maybe it’s better led by the liberal states. Maybe it’s better to just get out of their way and let them lead. They’ve done great work. It’s the only heartening sign to me- the states.
Thanks- I didn’t know. I’m glad. There’s a particularly virulent wingnut strain that seems to come out of northeastern states that to me is much more threatening than anything coming out of the south. Donald Trump exemplifies it but there’s a lot of fucking Trumps in the NE now. They better gear up.
Meanwhile, it looks like the 10M+ women in Florida are about to get their right to bodily autonomy further curtailed when our shitty governor signs a ban on abortion after six weeks, which might as well be a total ban. A Tampa Bay area doctor said this about it:
Kay’s right about this country going backward on women’s rights. I think a MI-style focus on the issue would be an effective centerpiece of a 2024 campaign. But my strategy advice is worth every penny you paid for it.
Whitmer might be my favorite U.S. politician. To see her hitting on the message framing that I’ve long thought dems need is exciting. She’s phrasing a defense and expansion of civil rights and human rights in the language of freedom and simply a better way to live. As much as I hate state sorting, as much as I think people fleeing Ohio for Michigan leaves America weaker and rights less secure overall…THAT RIGHT THERE is the kind of offense we need to run. A little less “liberals try to reduce harm in a negative, dangerous world” and a little more “our policy lets everyone live happier and freer.” Whitmer is awesome.
I want to push back a bit on your contention that nothing has happened on the Federal level for women’s rights. We haven’t made progress on things like child care and Dobbs is a huge, huge step back, so I accept the general thrust of your arguments.
However, here are some important things that protect women’s rights that have passed at the federal level since 1994:
*The ACA ended gender discrimination in pricing health plans (something like 36 states didn’t have this, and even with maternity care exclusions women were charged more)
*The ACA also mandates maternity care coverage be included in all plans. (Birth control too, though the courts have chipped away at that a bit)
*In 2022, Congress passed legislation that mandates sexual assault can’t be included in employer-employee arbitration agreements. This is the first big push back on courts allowing companies to lock employees out of the courthouse through mandatory arbitration and helps all employees, but women experience higher levels of sexual assault.
*the FY 2023 omnibus contained the PUMP act, which adds requirements to many employers to accommodate breastfeeding parents.
*FY2020 budget mandated 12 weeks paid parental leave for all federal employees. Again, this helps ALL federal employees (I took it with my second kid, it was great), but really helps new moms.
Again, I appreciate your general point about backsliding on women’s rights, but there is a considerable amount of policy activity pushing the other way for women’s rights even at the federal level.
@MagdaInBlack: That must have been infuriating.
One way, I think, that Dems could, and should, hammer the GOP is on childbirth mortality statistics. The US has dreadful maternal and infant mortality numbers compared to other countries and it’s a direct consequence of the right wing view of women as 2nd class people. Right wing racists are always blethering about being pro-birth yet their policies are responsible for a hell of a lot of dead babies & mothers. They should be hit hard on this every fucking day. It’s an issue that affects everybody for the worse and they are demonstrably on the wrong side. The MAGAs love to do the “USA!USA!” exceptionalist shit. it should be pointed out is safer to give birth in Iran or Khazakstan than it is in the US.
@Matt McIrvin: I recall the Senators who were advocating this lost in 1980 in the Reagan debacle. A very depressing day as I recall. Republicans considered daycare as a step on the road to Communism.
@Gin & Tonic:
The UN is determined to prove they can be just as useless and irrelevant as the League of Nations that preceded it.
@Betty Cracker: Beyond.
I want to say it’s because we know it’s the right thing to do.
But, I think the usual squishy folks realize through the extent of the anti-trans bills that there’s no middle ground with these people.
We stand up for trans folks because the other side wants them to genocide them. It’s that simple.
Prayers for SuzMom
@Kay: As always, thank you Kay. You are spot on about how women’s rights have been eroded.
Good morning from the farmers’ market. I’m doing my volunteer shift at the SNAP booth. My booth has been a little slow today but lots of activity here at the market.
Busy weekend – kids are having a surprise bday party for oldest kid today and I’m dog sitting. Tomorrow we go to see DIL perform with the symphony and then a family dinner and jam session.
I just love the Biden Harris administration. When people complain about his age I tell them that we’ve never had someone with more experience and heart than we do with Joe Biden. He’s getting good shit done!!
I’m sure he has more fun things to do than save our democracy but if he’s willing I’ve got his back.
Sending best wishes to Suzmom! Hope she feels much better.
Crafting a budget is the quintessential act of governing, but Republicans didn’t go to Washington to govern, they went there to prevent Democrats from governing. They will never agree on budget.
@Gin & Tonic: Yeah. I’m fucking baffled as to how this is being allowed. I don’t care about the usual rules and structure and whatever.
I don’t disagree, but it’s been a long long time… Do you remember people grilling Rep. Barney Frank about not doing enought to keep T folks in bills he advanced to protect LG folks? before DADT I think.
The political environment has changed since then in some ways for the better. I am not blaming Rep. Frank up there.
Agree with this wholeheartedly:
I do NOT think the anti trans bills are “worth it” but I do think some squishy folks on defending human rights for LGBT people are super clear on the Not Wanting Fascism bit and Not Wanting Other People’s Kids To Kill Themselves. So glad that so many Ds are doing the right thing in the face of the GOP getting louder and louder in its support of fascism and harm to our most vulnerable.
@Bupalos: The thing about state sorting is that you often can’t tell these things in advance. After November 2016 I’d have identified Michigan as one of the states people needed to flee. The whole region was clearly lost and I thought Minnesota was probably going to be next.
Um, nobody seems to be saying it, but where the fuck is Mitch McConnell?
If that fucker is on his deathbed, I want the time to savor it.
I’m sorry but I think this goes to my point. That the United States, in 2015, allowed insurers to exclude maternity care and birth control from the health care plans women pay for is outrageous and backward.
I refuse to thank anyone for allowing me to purchase birth control with the health insurance I pay for. I guess I should be thankful women aren’t stooping in fields to deliver babies but maternity care should have been a GIVEN.
I’m sick of it. All the keening and moaning about the declining birth rate. I watched my daughter’s employer deny her 7k in maternity leave benefits – she was then mandated to go to arbitration with the employer. Luckily her mother is a lawyer and donated 10 hours to basically write a brief for her to take into arbitration so she won, but this country is BRUTAL to pregnant women. No wonder they won’t have kids. It’s nuts to have kids here. Everything, everything is a huge hassle. It’s like we’re TRYING to lower our post-birth survival rate.
Progress is incremental.
Clinton gets a lot of grief about DADT, but it was an improvement on what was in place before. It set the stage for additional progress.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s right for advocates to press for more progress and faster progress. And real people are hurt when progress is slow. But what’s always important in politics and in society is moving the ball forward and bending the arc toward justice. It’s not going to happen all at once. The best we can hope for is continual, incremental progress.
Progress doesn’t happen without people pushing. But the Perfect is the enemy of progress in the real world.
Celebrate the wins and keep pushing forward to make things better.
LOL these final paragraphs from a NYT piece on Biden refusing to comment on the indictment made me laugh:
“No matter how many times” — I cackled.
@Lyrebird: As I recall, Barney Frank needed convincing even to get completely behind same-sex marriage. His political instincts had developed in an earlier time and change took even him by surprise. (And then he got married in 2012.)
James E Powell
Agree. Overall, our elected Democrats are more united than any time since forever. Manchin is the only fly in the ointment. Sinema is no longer a Democrat. That guy from New Jersey spouts off from time to time, but doesn’t really get much attention.
Two factors: Biden is like the ideal Democratic president & the horror of Trump & the Republicans seems to have finally taught the various Democratic factions that they need to work together.
Apparently, according to some recent reports, old Sen. McTurtle is out of the hospital, and into rehab (for whatever really happened to him), and, according to his office, looking forward to getting back to the Senate “soon”.
Official-spokesperson version, so take it as you will, but seemingly not on his deathbed, yet. Though the difference between “deathbed” and “Senate seat” can be a fine line at times….
I did not know what depression was until I had a knee replacement five years ago. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Kudos to John Fetterman for being able to talk about it. After my ordeal, I helped others deal with that all encompassing well of depression and suggested ways to combat it. It is real and it is tough to beat.
@OzarkHillbilly: Newsom had a good quick video on Instagram about the whole “are we still in a drought and what happens now” topic. (Not sure if it’ll be viewable on desktop if you aren’t logged in, though…)
Just imagine if this was Nancy Pelosi?
Would be leading every cable channel segment
James E Powell
Or the road to women’s economic freedom, which they regard as worse than communism.
I think we need like an Overton-window moving for women. Because the proposals now are much more modest than those of the 1970s. We shouldnot still be begging to be permitted to purchase birth control and the total cost of pregnancy and childbirth should not still be falling only on us because everyone, everyone was born. Not everyone has children but everyone WAS a child. Taking care of children should not fall solely on women individually especially if we’re all going to fret over birth rate.
I think it’s been revealing too. Because while lots and lots of people give lip service to the idea that mental health is comparable to physical health and should be treated the same, lots and lots of people seemed to have a problem with Fetterman taking time off for depression treatment where they would not say the same if he had been in a car wreck with two broken legs. We need to mean what we say.
@Matt McIrvin: Michigan’s move to an independent redistricting commission made a big difference. It produced a neutral state legislative map, which was all Democrats needed.
Virginia’s new redistricting commission flopped, but a backup.provision kicked the process to the State Supreme Court. They appointed a couple special masters who seem to have drawn a neutral map. I think the Democrats will do well here also, but won’t know for sure until this November.
The new map occasioned a lot of retirements. As of three weeks ago I think the number was 27 out of 140 members, including several with over 24 years tenure. It will be a younger General Assembly that convenes next January.
@Pennsylvanian: He’s at his home, but there hasn’t been much of an update in the news for 6-7 days.
I did find this – WAVE3.com (from 3/15):
It’s interesting to me what the doc listed first.
@Fake Irishman: Where Dems are in charge, we are moving forward. Where Republicans are in charge, they are pushing us backwards. That simple. Our systems of govt generally give Republicans a huge edge that can only be overcome by a State having a very large population of non-white voters. I’m pretty happy with with what Dems are doing, everywhere they have power. It’s the system design and the shitty GOP voters it empowers that are really holding us back, not the Dem Party.
I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this story in our local community newspaper:
US-1 is a major road there (3 traffic lanes each way).
A few years ago, one would have expected the SWAT team to be called out and the issue to end with lots of gunfire and one or more deaths. Things are slowly getting better, at least in places.
There’s still much more that needs to be done, though. We have to keep pushing forward.
I don’t often post here although I lurk enthusiastically but I need to vent about the vaunted American health care system.
I learned this week that my best friend from kindergarten – I’ve known her for almost 75 years – has a growth in her throat. She has trouble talking. When I asked her how long she has had the problem, she said that she noticed something in October but thought it was allergies. I concluded that she had simply ignored the problem. I didn’t say anything because what good would it have done to call her out for not taking care of herself.
Well, I just had a long text from her where she laid out a very different scenario. She actually called her doctor in October and was given an appointment for January 30! When she saw the doctor he ordered an MRI but she couldn’t schedule one until mid-February. When she went for that appointment, the machine broke down so she was re-scheduled for mid-March. The MRI showed the growth that is probably cancer. Her doctor told her he would schedule an appointment with a specialist at Stanford but two weeks later, she has heard nothing.
I understand that my friend is too accepting; she talks about patiently waiting her turn. I would not have reacted thusly. But her experience is one more example about the myth of American health care. We hear about how in Canada or Britain or France there are these long waits for care. It’s bullshit.
Link (or more specific reference)? I can’t find what you’re talking about.
That may be your experience. I’ve found the most dismissive and hostile were young male leftists. Bernie didn’t help with his planned parenthood is the establishment horse shit.
Meanwhile, … Oh no, the Mystery Machine was destroyed in Ukraine!
(Note the date)
@Zelma: I agree. Our vaunted health care services are failing us. Hope your friend gets some good news, but she had not been well served.
Republican women have more negative views on women- think they’re liars or manipulative or bad employees, etc.
Are mirrors involved here?
As a senior citizen born and raised in CA I can remember that republicans were rather strong here in CA for a lot of my youth. But that started to change a few decades ago and things got a lot better politically here.
I agree they’re bad too but they don’t have any power, so I don’t care that much.
The Left is embarrassingly bad on womens rights. Agreed. It’s just that they in no way run the Democratic Party and centrists do. Which is as it should be! The majority of the Party are probably centrists but we need a fresh look at these issues and we are not going to get it from cranky old and middle aged men who are all pissed off and put out by Me Too and going along with the backlash against women.
Obama was actually very good rhetorically. He gets that it’s a civil rights/dignity issue. He argued from such a broad moral stance instead of shrinking in fear that God would smite him down if he mentioned birth control. That’s the way to win- not pleading to be permitted to have medical intervention in a miscarriage but to make the liberty and autonomy and dignity argument. Big idea, not small pleading for “concessions”
@Zelma: It’s much worse since Covid, though. I don’t remember it being so bad.
People also forget that after Clinton said he wanted to end discrimination based on sexual orientation, Colin Powell came out publicly against him. Of course he was oh so concerned about unit cohesion and all the other bullshit excuses that had been used against integration of the military.
It’s horrible because it’s hard to GET IN – to crack the code to get care- you’re fine once you’re in if you can pay for it but there’s this maze one has to go thru to get there.
It’s why I chuckle at the ninnies wringing their hands that trans people might get too much health care. Have they ever tried to GET IN to our system? Your friend has a growth in her throat – her fucking airway– and she’s still jumping thru hoops.
I just went thru it with my youngest. We had an xray showing a broken ankle. I had to agitate to get it operated on and treated immediately before he did more damage. They were blowing him off completely. He has insurance.
Clinton was very flawed but I feel like the majority of the time, there is a lot of revisionism going on when people talk about his presidency.
Actually the smartest thing Obama did was to talk about reproductive health including abortion as economic issues. That was what got my sister and a lot of other women to vote Democratic.
I think the far left did a lot of damage in 2016 – that was the year that all of the efforts to chip away at abortion rights went to sudden death.
@MomSense: In 2016 the far left revealed itself to be deeply misogynistic across the board.
@UncleEbeneezer: Yup! As simple as “D for Drive, R for Reverse”
On a lighter note, looks like UVA is about to become “UV”
(or is it?) =)
@Kay: I was just reading an article where Republicans criticized the Biden administration requiring employers who want money from the CHIPS Act to offer on-site childcare as part of a “woke” agenda, instead of seeing it as something that would attract many qualified employees. I think many people would work for less if they got childcare from their employer. It’s a competitive advantage to offer it, but all the R’s can see is that it helps women (when the truth is that it helps everyone!)
I’m going to hire a Right wing summer associate at 1 oclock. Make him an offer. Which he’ll take. I’m winding down my practice and he’s the best for the job; personable, smart in a practical way (although not great grades which doesn’t matter that much for good small town lawyering) hard working and lots and lots of family and connections here. We hit it off in the first interview and I met with our assistants and they think he’s a good fit too. He told me he used to be “hard Right” but law school mellowed him a bit- he’s a moderate Rightie now. But- he’s not interested in politics and wants to focus on his career. He also wants to live here which is, you know, not for everyone :)
@Kay: Maybe you can turn this young man into a Blue Dog. He might like Josh Gotthiemer.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I’m not nominating her for sainthood. She caved on the first impeachment, on Kavanaugh (ETA: She voted “present” so that Steve Daines could skip the vote for his daughter’s wedding in MT. The Senate is so weird). She said on the night of January 6 that if that was the Republican Party, she wasn’t sure she wanted to be a Republican, and the next morning ran not walked it back. Still… interesting. If Romney has made a statement, I haven’t seen it. I’m sure Collins brow is furrowed in concern.
Jeb Bush is giving trump cover, and I expect the cowardly amateur painter in Houston to maintain the same gutless silence he has for the last eight years. They’re going to get a third shot at getting the presidency right out of George P or die tryin’
@Steeplejack: Here’s a gift link. It was a very intriguing article and taught me something I didn’t know about my own religion!
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Rep. Don Bacon (NE) made a similar statement about the Trump indictment. That made me think he’s planning on retirement. He’s barely held on to his seat through the last 3 cycles.
Honestly it’s better for him here if he’s a Republican and what’s better for him is better for the law office – he does well, they do well. I am glad he’s not a wingnut anymore though. He’s too nice a guy to hang around with that crowd. I don’t know who will take my labor people- they’re crazy-loyal and need a personal relationship and I got all of them thru Dem politics. We were a good fit.
@Steeplejack: I had trouble finding it and we are subscribers. Try googling:
Ancient Judaism Recognized a Range of Genders. It’s Time We Did, Too.
March 18, 2023
By Elliot Kukla
Elliot Kukla is a rabbi who provides spiritual care to those who are grieving, dying, ill or disabled. He is working on a book about the power of rest in a time of planetary crisis.
ETA: I see Alison Rose beat me to this and knows how to do a gift link!
@Kay: He sounds like a good fit. And perhaps you can work your magic on him.
@Kay: I was kind of joking. He sounds like he might be a Matt Dolan type Republican.
The Blue Dog Caucus has fallen on hard times anyway. They lost 5 or 6 members in the 2020 election, and then half the members left two months ago over a rebranding dispute. Those included Mikey Sherrill (NJ), Ed Case (HI), Lou Correa (CA), and my Rep, Abigail Spanberger (VA). I think they’re down to 7 members now- a lonely kennel.
Sister Golden Bear
Big win on the trans right front yesterday — a Trump-appointment judge temporarily blocked TN’s ban on drag shows, ruling the law was both vague and overly broad. While it’s a temporary restraining order, these are only granted if the judge believes the plantiffs will likely win. Love this line from the ruling:
@Kay: I wouldn’t be surprised if your labor people end up driving all the way to Toledo for their next attorney.
@Zelma: Whan an infuriating situation! I hope you friend gets the medical attention she needs in short order. I know people panic at the word Cancer but there are so many different kinds and so many good treatments, all you can do at the beginning is take deep breaths. You can’t know yet how things will unfold.
You are right, we can have long wait times for medical appointments — I always think that anyone going on about how long Canadians (or whoever) wait to see a doctor must not actually ever interact with our medical system. Ohio Family has had some long waits — on the order of months — for various specialists, tests and procedures.
On the other hand, it is possible to demand attention, and we have done so on occasion when we thought it necessary. I hope your friend finds her inner self-advocate.
I’m in my mid 70s and I’ve seen this country change a lot in my lifetime. I’ve also seen political people who really, really do not like that women have equality. But here’s the thing, in healthcare women have needs/requirements that I, as a male, never, ever will have anything more than second hand experience with. There is no equality in this world or nation if we do not recognize that and respect it. And we fail as a country and humanity if we keep the extremely outdated notion that women are here for one thing only, to have children. Republicans seem to only have one gear in their transmissions and that is reverse gear. This was a truism when I was a child and it is true today. Republicans think, such as it is, that we need to revert to the world of a couple hundred years ago so that men are on top and women are subjugated to them, to do their bidding and nothing more. And it’s not just the men that believe this. It’s bullshit and wrong, there is no equality if half the population has to be subject to the whims and desires of the other half and has zero autonomy. Men and women are different halves of the same thing, life. But it isn’t actually life if both sides do not have complete autonomy. It’s slavery.
Health care folks suffered a lot from Covid. It’s difficult to take care of humans during a healthcare crisis without getting effected. Especially one as dangerous as Covid.
I imagine we will have a crisis in healthcare for some time, seeing as it wasn’t all joy and sunshine prior to Covid, and now it’s worse. And I do think that they did as good a job as possible, during an impossible time.
@Another Scott: so either the concussion was really bad, worse than they admitted, or he did have a stroke.
Sister Golden Bear
Agreed. But I think another factor is that Biden — like many major corporations — have decided that it’s more beneficial to them to be pro-trans that anti-trans. A recent survey shows that a majority of Americans — even a major Republicans oppose anti-LGBTQ+ laws.
But even more importantly is Biden’s fundamental decency. Remember he pushed for same-sex marriage equality under Obama when doing so was still considered a political liability. Also, Biden is going against the Pope, who expresses sympathy for trans people, but also simultaneously making statements “transgenderism” (to paraphrase) is an affront to God.
Sister Golden Bear
For the record, Frank has a long, documented personal history of transphobia (unfortunately all too common with cis gay men of his age). So while politically trans inclusion was politically tough, Frank (and Human Rights Campaign, the LBGT lobbing group, which dominated by cis gay men) weren’t bothered by throwing trans people under the bus to get what they wanted.
Us elder trans people have not forgotten, not have we forgiven. HRC has changed it ways, but to me they remain an unreliable ally, given that they’re still dominated by cis gay men, and have on-going problems with internal discrimination again cis lesbians and trans people who’ve worked there.
@Ohio Mom: Yeah, she broke it. They did surgery first thing on Thursday morning and she was walking by the afternoon. She’s being sent home today.
I am tired.
This is demonstrably not true. Dems can win everywhere and should try to win everywhere. The biggest factor that fosters Republican rule is Republican rule. Making life more unequal and harder and harsher and dumber helps them create more Republicans. But this cycle can be broken even in places where it is entrenched, and not by demographic change only.
I believe that President Biden believes that his personal beliefs are not/should not be the limit of the law. The law is for all of us and religious beliefs are personal. He seems to absolutely understand that his beliefs, your beliefs and my beliefs do not have to be the same. But laws that restrict our behavior and needs need to attend to ALL of Us. It’s what makes him a good president and leader. He understands that his beliefs are not the be all end all and are beliefs not legal limitations.
81 isn’t all that old but as someone only slightly over a half a decade younger than him I can tell you that given his medical history that we know of, it is getting up there. A stroke or fall could be rather serious and this isn’t his first fall that we know of. I live in a seniors apt complex, OK it’s called that but they let 55 yr olds live here. Anyway we have folks that range over 40 yrs difference in age, I believe the oldest is 96. I’ve lived here over 4 yrs now and I’m seeing a few people in their 80s to mid 90s starting to look like time is being less favorable to them. In 2 yrs Oct 2015 to Oct 2017, 14 people I knew passed away and only one was older than me and him by one year. Old age is different for everyone, in length and attitude. But it always ends the same. My oldest sister made it to 65, I’ve already got almost 9 yrs past that and mom made it to one day short of 95. Life is different for all of us, I had a cousin who only made 6 months.
Shouldn’t House Republicans be doing something constructive, like they did under John Boehner? You know, repealing the ACA every week, stuff like that.