Tag Archives: anti-choice

Bigot of the Week Award: October 12, Rep. Scott DesJarlais

12 Oct

Bigot of the Week

Even in the great gathering of hypocrites that lurk in the BWA, this week’s winner is a titan. Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R – TN) has managed to abuse his power on every level while demonstrating an amazing “do as I say, not as I do” mentality. DesJarlais is a licensed physician and a “family values” tea partier; he’s dedicated to oppressing gays and women and radically opposed to freedom of choice. He certainly plays the prefect stereotypical white hetero privileged male Republican. How does he live up to those “principles”?

It turns out that he practices family values by cheating on his wife (repeatedly). That includes one mistress who was one of his patients! So much for medical ethics… When this woman became pregnant during one of their dalliances (perhaps they got over-excited reading Ayn Rand?), how did DesJarlais respond? According to excerpts from phone conversations provided to the Huffington Post, he puts his convenience above his principles.

  1. If we need to go to Atlanta, or whatever, to get this solved and get it over with so we can get on with our lives, then let’s do it.
  2. We’ve got to do something soon. And you’ve even got to admit that because the clock is ticking right?
  3. You told me you’d have an abortion, and now we’re getting too far along without one!
  4. Well, I didn’t want to be in your life either, but you lied to me about something that caused us to be in this situation, and that’s not my fault, that’s yours.

My he is charm free! What a despicable creature. It looks like he will face a disciplinary hearing regarding his medical license. Sadly, his bright red district will likely reward his misdeeds with re-election.

Thanks go to my friend Jennifer Carey for this week’s dishonorable mention. David Siegel, the owner of Westgate Resorts, sent a surprising email to his employees Monday. It said that if President Barack Obama wins re-election and raises Siegel’s taxes, he will have to lay off workers and downsize his company — or even shut it down. Siegel used similar intimidation tactics in 2008. When confronted this week, he responded:

I wanted to inform my employees of what their future would hold if they make the wrong decision. I wasn’t threatening any of the employees.

No, just promising that their jobs were at stake while violating federal laws regarding voter intimidation. Abuse of power seems to be the theme of the week.

Bigot of the Week Award: October 5, Matt Birk

5 Oct

Bigot of the Week

After all the voices for equality emerging from professional football lately, it was perhaps inevitable that a player would feel obligated to buck the trend. Jumping in with both feet (in his mouth), Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk decided to blast his homophobic bigotry far and wide ( I suppose he is a wide end receiver hehhehe). The man who was named NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year in February wrote an OpEd for the Minneapolis Star Tribune (the home of his previous team, the Vikings) aggressively opposing marriage equality. On what basis? His desire to impose his religion on everyone (he’s Roman Catholic,  you know the Pope in his beautiful frock covering up all the sex scandals)  and the sad lie that marriage exists only for the children.

Same-sex unions may not affect my marriage specifically, but it will affect my children — the next generation. Ideas have consequences, and laws shape culture. Marriage redefinition will affect the broader well-being of children and the welfare of society. As a Christian and a citizen, I am compelled to care about both.

Yes, you should care about both, Matt, and the fact that this “redefinition” creates equality and sends that next generation the message that everyone has value. I guess that doesn’t matter to you. Not content with his essay, Birk also recorded this toxic PSA for the Minnesota Catholic Conference reiterating his stand. I guess all of you single parents are sinners in the eyes of Matt Birk.

Thank you to my friend, Jennifer Carey for inspiring this week’s Dishonorable Mention, which goes to the Arizona legislature. Not content with their state’s abhorrent racist laws on immigration, they’ve decided to join the war on women as well. HB2625, which passed the house in March, is now working its way through the Senate. This odious bill allows employers to opt out of the mandated provision of birth control. Employees must submit to intrusive questions,verifying the purpose of the medication to be solely for medical reasons and not to prevent pregnancy. The bill would grant employers the ability to deny female employees the right to be covered based on religious beliefs. Given the makeup of the Senate and the nasty beast sitting in the Governor’s office, it is very likely that the bill will become law before long.

Bigot of the Week Award: September 28: Archbishop John Myers of Newark

28 Sep

Bigot of the Week

Oh what bounty! Sadly, there were many choices yet again this week. We won’t pick on the Romney / Ryan ticket for their serial lies, hypocrisy, racism, classism, bigotry, and oppression since everyone else has been kind enough to do that for us. Instead, the BWA goes to (brace yourselves) yet another Catholic Archbishop. John J. Myers, Archbishop of the Diocese of Newark, decided to wade into election season and instruct his flock (enjoying that tax exempt status, Archbishop).

Archbishop Myers released a “sweeping pastoral statement” this week. Feeling that many Catholics were “at odds with church teaching” he decided to apply his privilege and abuse his power. “No one has said things clearly to them for years,” he said. Well he took care of that. When looking at candidates, he said that true Catholics should examine the full spectrum of each candidate, including how they stand on abortion and a “proper backing of marriage.” He clarified why opposition to marriage equality is valid by using this old false equivalency:

Even those who propose radically altering the definition of marriage would not advocate allowing two brothers or sisters or an uncle and his nephew to marry.

Not content to spew his misogyny and homophobia, he went on to take an extremist position even for the Catholic church, saying that people who disagree with his guidance or who might vote for candidates who take different stands should “refrain from receiving Holy Communion.” That’s right, folks, vote my way or no eternal salvation for you! How very christian (in my best Church Lady (Dana Carvey) voice).

Dishonorable mention this week goes to Sen. Scott Brown (R – Mass. of Bigotry); he only came in second because of his previous win last July. Infamous for pretending to be a moderate Republican while marching in lockstep with the worst of their obstructionist behavior, the Senator managed to become even more odious this week. As part of a series of attacks on his opponent, the wonderful Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Brown has latched on to her Native American heritage. Defying the truth and common decency, he has accused her of trying to “cash in” on that heritage, something she has demonstrably not done.

As a result of these attacks, his campaign staff got a bit out of hand at a rally, shouting down Warren supporters with war whoops and tomahawk chops. The Senator (after a delay of days) finally said that this behavior wasn’t very nice, although the whole thing was Warren’s fault for not being white enough. Anyone wondering where they got the idea, however, should look to Sen. Brown’s words during the recent debate.

Professor Warren claimed that she was a Native American, a person of color, and as you can see, she’s not.

REALLY? What should a Native American look like, Senator? Just to round out his GOP credentials, when he was interviewed about his comments, plainly recorded and available for public consumption, he said, “I never made that suggestion at all.” It looks like he’s hoping for a place in a Romney Administration…

Bigot of the Week Award: September 7, Archbishop Timothy Dolan

7 Sep

Bigot of the Week

The Democratic Convention was a stirring, compelling event with many powerful speakers. Sadly, every party has its low point and this one chose to end with it. For some mysterious reason, the DNC selected Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York to deliver its closing benediction. (Ironically, he also closed the RNC — was this a pointless gesture of coalition building?) Dolan is famous for his very Catholic opposition to reproductive choice, including his stand against the Obama administration’s very reasonable birth control requirements. He is also rabidly anti-marriage equality, having written at length about it including a vitriolic post on his Archdiocese’ blog (I think you can find the blog at http://www.whowouldJesusHate).

At an event celebrating American freedom and civil rights, Dolan’s views had little place. Given his staunch opposition to positions held by the very President whose nomination he was blessing, the hypocrisy of the his appearance was palpable. Predictably, Dolan took political advantage of his pulpit podium making anti-equality comments throughout his five-minute prayer. Here are three excerpts that speak for themselves:

We ask your benediction on those waiting to be born, that they may be welcomed and protected…

Empower us with your grace so that we might resist the temptation to replace the moral law with idols of our own making, or to remake those institutions you have given us for the nurturing of life and community…

Oh God of wisdom, justice, and might, we ask your guidance for those who govern us [...] including Governor Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan, who seek to serve the common good by seeking public office.

Undermining the very platform that provides foundation to the event, questioning the leadership of the President for whom the benediction was offered, and creating a false moral equivalence for the Republican candidates who oppose basic human rights at every turn. (As an added bonus, giving moral weight to Paul Ryan, whose use of Catholic theology to defend his nefarious budget has been debunked in stern terms by the American Archbishops!) Badly done, Archbishop Dolan, promoter of ancient white patriarchy over human values. Badly done, DNC. Did Rick Warren teach you nothing?

Rape

28 Aug

The GOP Owns Your Vagina

Thank you to my friend JoAnna, a fierce advocate for oppressed voices, for inspiring me to write this article. Now that the Republican Platform includes Akin’s “Legitimate Rape” and the repeal of all rights gained by the LGBT community, Tom Smith (R), Senate Candidate from Pennsylvania, is just following his party’s platform when he adds his comments to the overwhelmingly misogynistic tea (Kool Aid). As reported in the Huffington Post, he believes:

Rape is like having a baby out of wedlock… although he condemns Akin’s comment, he agrees with Akin that abortion should be banned without any exceptions, including for rape and incest victims.

How is that disagreeing with Akin? He has been hanging around Romney and Ryan for too long.

I simply do not understand how any woman could vote Republican right now.  The party platform says specifically that they are going to try and overturn Roe v. Wade with their “personhood” amendment.  That “Rape is just like having a child out of wedlock,” “that women can’t get pregnant because of a ‘legitimate’ rape.”   How is this not a War on Women?

I would also beg the question as to how could any self respecting LGBTQ person vote Republican when it is now part of their platform and Romney signed a pledge to:

  • Support and send to the states a federal marriage amendment defining marriage as one man and one woman,
  • Defend DOMA in court,
  • Appoint judges and an attorney general who will respect the original meaning of the Constitution,
  • Appoint a presidential commission to investigate harassment of traditional marriage supporters,
  • Support legislation that would return to the people of D.C. their right to vote for marriage.
  • Repeal all rights gained by the LGBTQ community.

Don’t fear, homos! My friend Jodi Sisson just notified me that Todd (I can’t even spell biology )Akin has hope for you: breast milk cures homosexuality! There’s some science for you.

They may call this the Republican Party, but let’s face it, this is a Fascist Party serving up some noxious tea. Their leadership is the greatest supporting argument for birth control I can think of.

My suggestion for all of these white purportedly heterosexual men wanting full control of every vagina in the land–get castrated!

Bigot of the Week Award: August 24, Republican Party Platform

24 Aug

Bigot of the Week

This week’s bigot is no big surprise, but it helps to underscore the importance of the November election. Just a few weeks ago we gave the Hero of the Week to the committee that drafted the Democratic Party Platform. Sadly, the Republicans sank below expectations and easily won this week’s BWA. Much of the platform is standard right-wing talking points, protecting the wealthy, undermining the middle class, and avoiding equality and reality with shocking vigor. Two sections, however, are particularly loathsome.

On the matter of gay rights, the 2012 platform is even more aggressive than in 2008. This owes a great deal to the fact that Tony Perkins of the certified hate group the Family Research Council helped to draft the plank. It supports the adoption of a federal “one man one woman” amendment and explicity calls out for reversal of the strides forward made by the Obama administration, noting “its handling of immigration cases, in federal personnel benefits, in allowing a same-sex marriage at a military base, and in refusing to defend DOMA in the courts.” Professional self-loathing groups GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans weep and rend their garments while the party they irrationally support rages and rends our rights.

The platform stakes out a clear campaign in the War on Women as well. Despite the hypocritical outcry by party leaders when Rep. Todd Akin made his famous “legitimate rape” comments, the platform squares up pretty well with that Senate hopeful’s positions. It calls for a personhood amendment and the prohibition of all abortions regardless of circumstance, no exceptions. The Romneybot can dither and deceive all he wants, but when he accepts the nomination next week he’ll be the standard bearer of a party that demands that women be stripped of rights to reproductive choice. The plank includes:

Faithful to the ‘self-evident’ truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.

This odious language is not just the party’s position; it has direct bearing on some key races as well. The connection to Akin’s effort to unseat Claire McCaskill (D – MO) is obvious. Akin also voted for a stalled House bill with similar intent; his colleague in the House, Rep. Paul Ryan, also voted for that bill. Whatever the official Romney – Ryan talking points may be, the VP hopeful’s position is clearly anti-woman. This year’s language is very similar to planks included since 2000. The anti-choice section from that year was written by Tommy Thompson, the man who hopes to be the next Senator from Wisconsin. He’s running against true progressive (and out lesbian) Tammy Baldwin. It’s clear that Thompson, Akin, and Ryan must be stopped.

GOP hacks talk a good game about jobs and the economy, but their elected officials have done less than nothing to solve those problems. In the meantime, the official position of the party and its leaders is to roll back rights, oppress minorities, and protect the privileged. The choice in November just keeps getting clearer…

Rep. Todd Akin Achin’ to be the Craziest Senator

20 Aug

I don’t understand English, biology, or simple human decency.

Rep. Todd Akin (R – MO) was on tap for Bigot of the Week but has managed to produce such loathsome insanity that he needed to be exposed before Friday. The Representative from Missouri’s 2nd District recently won the Republican primary to run against Sen. Claire McCaskill. In an interview with KTVI-TV, he spouted this misogynistic idiocy:

First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. [...] Let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work, or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.

AARRRGGHHH!! Where do we start when dealing with this? The blatantly false — if often repeated — myth that rape victims can’t get pregnant, even though thousands do every year? The patronizing patriarchy that assumes women’s bodies have magical powers but that women’s minds can’t be trusted to make sound medical and ethical decisions? The concept of “legitimate rape,” which is a disgusting Republican talking point for FORCIBLE rape? The discussion of punishments without any consideration of the woman? Congratulations, Rep. Akin, you’re officially nominated for bigot (and idiot) of the year.

Clearly the Akin campaign is attempting to create a Senator stupider than Rand Paul and far to the right of Jim DeMint. Who knew that even one of those was possible, much less both! Sadly, the Republican Party has now become the Party of Insanity and Lies.  Long past are the days of the Gerald Ford  and Mark Hatfield Republicans.  Anyone who has studied history can see the new Tea/Republican Party is Fascism.

Akin backpedalled slightly with the famous Republican nonpology “I misspoke.” But while he implied that he was wrong about basic biology, he stood firm on the “no abortions ever under any circumstance” ground.

The one upside to this blast of tea vomit is that it may help Democrats hold the Senate. McCaskill, who narrowly won her first term in the 2006 Democratic surge, is easily the most endangered incumbent in the Senate this year. She was polling down double digits against “generic Republican” before the primaries. Once Missouri knew that Akin was their other choice, she started gaining ground. Let’s hope that Akin has dug himself a hole so deep that he can’t dig out by November.

P.S. – The Romneybot / Ryandrone campaign has weighed in on Akin’s comments as well.

Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin’s statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape.

This, of course, is notable as Romney’s 5000th flip-flop of the year. And, let’s face it, if the Republicans take the Senate and hold the house, a bill that includes Rep. Akin’s ideas could easily pass both chambers. Can you really imagine Romney vetoing any anti-abortion legislation, regardless of what he says today?

Bachmann Removed From Intelligence, or Vice Versa?

25 Jul

On the Intelligence Committee? Really?

Sadly, Joe McCarthy has seems to have resurrected himself through Michele Bachmann–I guess you get what you pay for, Joe, and apparently Bachmann’s brain was free.  When I asked Republican Representative Bachmann what do you consider a good and successful day? She responded:

I love taking walks on the ocean beach here in Minnesota. I work hard every day to rid the state of those pesky gays, Blacks, and Muslims.  I also work hard to make sure we destroy Planned Parenthood.  Only men should make decisions about women’s health. Right now I’m trying to get rid of Hillary Clinton’s aide, Huma Abedin, because she just looks like a terrorist to me and I’m a very good judge just by looking.  By the end of the day when I’m just so tired of doing all my good works, I like to take a hot bath and let Marcus (who has spent the day helping those gays become straight) set my hair in hot rollers before he back combs me–now that is a successful day!

I’m just curious, do you happen to have any evidence against Huma Abedin?

I am on the House Intelligence Committee.  What more do you need as evidence?  I’m just so grateful that God created America so that all of us could enjoy the freedoms here.  My black maid and I were just having this conversation as she was cleaning up the kitchen yesterday.

What about the Native Tribes that occupied this land before white people got here?

 The Natives? Who? You mean the Indians? They gave us this land.  I don’t know where they are now, but we don’t want them to be Indian Givers, now do we?

How do you reply to John Boehner when he says you have gone too far?

Everyone knows John Boehner is a Fascist Socialist, or is it Communist? It’s one of those pesky long words that God doesn’t like. Remember, I’m doing his work, so I’m rubber and your earthly criticism is glue! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I see a book that needs banning…

Hero of the Week Award: July 20, Eleanor Holmes Norton

20 Jul

Hero of the Week

This week’s hero is fighting oppression with tenacity just as she has her entire career. Eleanor Holmes Norton is the Delegate to the House of Representatives from the District of Columbia, one of the most frustrating jobs in politics. Because DC is not a state, it is not constitutionally entitled to representation in Congress. As with Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands, it has a Delegate who can sit on committees and speak on the House Floor but not vote. Given that DC is also under the direct supervision of Congress, Norton’s job is doubly frustrating as she regularly watches bills that directly affect her constituents receive votes in which she cannot participate. It’s a situation that has been even harder to swallow this year.

A nasty anti-choice bill, HR3803, would ban all abortions in the District at 20 weeks with no exceptions for rape, incest, or health of the mother. Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ of course) has blocked Norton from testifying in the Judiciary Committee hearings on the bill. Despite the fact that the very people who would suffer from this misguided proposal specifically selected Norton to speak for them, Franks won’t allow it, probably because he knows how powerful and articulate Norton is, especially when opposed on her principles.  Need I point out the lunacy that a man is making decisions about women’s health and not allowing a woman to have a voice?

Norton is co-founder of African-American Women for Reproductive Freedom and an outspoken defender of women’s rights. Rising into her career under the tutelage of pioneers like Medgar Evers and participating in the formative years of second wave feminism, she understands how to speak truth to power in a way that the petty dogma spewers deeply fear. And she’s not happy about being left out of the conversation.

Some are debating whether House Republicans have been engaging in a “war on women” in our country. What is not debatable is the fixation of the Republican majority on depriving the women of the District of the reproductive rights that all other Americans enjoy. This bill, however, is another abuse of power and denial of democratic rights. The committee, acting at the insistence of special interest organizations, is using District women to abet a national campaign to defy Roe v. Wade, the law of the land. Instead of introducing a nationwide post-20-week abortion ban, the campaign has taken the bill to conservative states and to Congress, but only for District women. [...] H.R. 3803 is unprincipled twice over. As to the District, it is the first bill ever introduced in Congress that would deny constitutional rights to the citizens of only one jurisdiction in our country. It is also the first bill ever introduced in Congress that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Its application to District women is a cover for its underlying purpose: to undermine Roe v. Wade in other jurisdictions in the United States.

This is a woman who fought Newsweek’s “men-only” reporting policy in 1970 and won. She led the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under President Carter and crafted landmark regulations clearly defining sexual harassment as a form of discrimination. To test her own mettle as a free speech advocate, one of her first cases was defending an aggressively racist group, right up to the Supreme Court. She won, and reflects on the reasons for taking the case admirably:

I defended the First Amendment, and you seldom get to defend the First Amendment by defending people you like … You don’t know whether the First Amendment is alive and well until it is tested by people with despicable ideas. And I loved the idea of looking a racist in the face—remember this was a time when racism was much more alive and well than it is today—and saying, “I am your lawyer, sir, what are you going to do about that?”

If Rep. Franks thinks blocking this powerful woman from a committee is going to silence her, he has another thing coming.

Mitt Romney: The “Bain” of Our Existence

16 Jul

Oh my! Poor old, sad old, dear old Mitt.  Bless his heart. He just can’t seem to remember what he said, where he was, or what he believes in at any given moment. I know his detractors will simply dismiss him as a sexist, egotistical, lying hypocritical bigot, as though he were Mr. Hart from 9 to 5.  Perhaps the poor dear really does not remember what he believes from day to day and he is not lying?

Here I shall endeavor to try to help poor old, sad old Mitt. Dear heart, you said that you had retired from Bain Capital in 1999.  You stated this on August 12, 2011. However, Bain Capital filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as late as 2002 reporting that you were the  “sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president” of the company. Massachusetts financial disclosure forms also report that you earned at least $100,000 as a Bain “executive” in 2001 and 2002 and owned 100% of the company as of 2002. Oh mercy! Well this certainly does not look good. I’m not quite sure how to spin this one for you Mitt, so let us leave this ugliness and try to help you out of some other bits of confusion. We wouldn’t want the American people to think they were electing a liar as the leader of the Free World, now would we?  Maybe we could call you a Pioneer–yeah, that’s the ticket. As early as 1985 you were buying up vulnerable companies, gutting them, firing all of the American employees and then setting up shop in other countries–you were just a pioneer for outsourcing.

As a gay man, I was glad to see that as early as 1994 you reported that you would be “the most friendly LGBTQ supporter.”  Of course, I’m a mite confused here in 2012 when you signed a pledge that would eliminate any rights I would have as a gay man here in the United States–so much for the 14th Amendment. Oops, I’m not sure how to navigate you out of this mess either, Mitt. Let us move on to another issue where I’m sure I can be of some help.

In 1994, you said you believed that all women should have the legal right to an abortion and you supported Roe v. Wade. Now in 2012, you said “the next step is to overturn Roe v. Wade.”  Well dagnab it. I’m not quite sure how to get you out of this lie either. Let us move on to something far easier where I’m certain I can help you.

Earlier in 2011, you stated that President Obama was “copying” your idea for the health care plan you designed for the state of Massachusetts. Now in 2012 you refer to the Affordable Health Care Act as “Obamacare” and tell us that it is bad news and you will work to repeal what the U.S. Supreme Court has sanctioned. Well, who cares if millions of Americans can’t afford health care?  As some folk at one of the debates you were at said, “Let him die!” Strangely you did not address this cheer for death. Okay, so I’m having trouble getting you out of this particular spot as well.

On a more positive note for you, at least you have an enormous fortune backing you.  Most of the Wall Street Big Boys are throwing millions of dollars your way. That pesky Supreme Court did you one favor with Citizens United and let shady corporate donations fund your SuperPACs without anyone knowing where the money comes from.  Maybe you can just buy yourself the Presidency. But do you think you could stick with just one version of yourself for four whole years?

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