Tag Archives: pro-life

Hero of the Week Award: July 12, Judge William Conley

12 Jul
Hero of the Week

Hero of the Week

This week it is a pleasure to celebrate another judge standing up to the unconstitutional overreach of institutionalized misogyny.

Frustrated by the continued existence of women’s rights to make their own health and reproductive choices, Republican-controlled legislatures around the country are trying their best to create de facto abortion-free zones of their states. Invasive ultrasounds and needless waiting periods aren’t enough. The latest trick is creating cumbersome requirements for doctors at clinics that provide abortions as part of their services.

Wisconsin is the latest, with a new law — signed by charm-free Gov. Scott Walker — that requires hospital admitting privileges, something no other clinics require. Planned Parenthood challenged the law, and U.S. District Judge William Conley sided with them.  Let us remind our selves that Planned Parenthood provides greatly needed health care for women that could not other wise afford simple things like pap smears that test for cancer.

Noting that “there is a troubling lack of justification for the hospital admitting privileges requirement,” Conley placed a stay on the law until he can hold further hearings. Citing Roe v Wade, the judge added “Moreover, the record to date strongly supports a finding that no medical purpose is served by this requirement.”

Judge Conley will no doubt be accused by the so-called  family values crowd of “judicial activism” for actually doing his job. Insisting that access to care must be equitable is the right thing to do. Thank you, Judge Conley, for standing up against the War on Women in Wisconsin–not an easy battle when going up against the racist, homophobic, classist, neo-fascist, Scott Walker.  Mr. Walker, have you no decency?

Bigot of the Week Award: July 12, Cleveland Right to Life

12 Jul
Bigot of the Week

Bigot of the Week

Wow! This week’s BWA goes to Cleveland Right to Life, who have shown appalling dedication to HATE.  In a move that shows how intertwined misogyny and homophobia are, these Clevelanders have extended their mission from working against women’s health to include opposing marriage equality.  This is what I would call a BIG BALL OF HATE.  Those of you in the greater Cleveland area may need to take cover.  I suspect this type of intense hate is enough to catch the Cuyahoga River on fire again.

Shall we also talk about how this move translates into not only homophobia, misogyny, and classism, but it also ties directly into racism?  These Cleveland Right to Lifers are targeting the most vulnerable and marginalized populations and the impact is far more severe if you are a woman of color or a gay person of color.

The announcement of this expansion of bigotry came as the group responded to Sen. Rob Portman’s (R – OH) announcement that he supported marriage equality because his son is gay. explaining their need to hate more people, Cleveland Right to Life officials observed that marriage equality, euthanasia, and abortion are all

contrary to the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God … every human life is created by the sexual union of male and female.

God forbid a parent should carefully consider policy that impacts his child and then make an informed, compassionate decision. NO! Jesus said no abortions and hate the gays and hate women! Well, they’re sure he meant to, anyway…

Bigot of the Week: January 11, Reps. Marsha Blackburn and Diane Black of Tennessee

11 Jan
Bigots of the Week

Bigots of the Week

An elephant may never forget but it appears that many Republican members of Congress never learn. Two members of the House of Representatives, both women from Tennessee, have decided to renew the war on women and attack Planned Parenthood on the first day of the new Congress–always sad to see internalized misogyny. Ignoring the election’s clear message in support of policies that promote women’s health and the fact that the vast majority of Americans support Planned Parenthood for its breadth of services, Rep. Marsha Blackburn and Rep. Diane Black have both introduced bills to block use of government funds for organizations that provide abortions as even a small part of their operations.

Rep. Blackburn is the Vice Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the committee with jurisdiction over the issue. She lifted a failed bill from the last Congress written by former Rep. Mike Pence (R – IN). (He went on to be elected Governor of Indiana, the home of Richard Mourdock. Not a woman-friendly state…) The bill — clearly targeting Planned Parenthood — would restrict the use of Title X money. Says Blackburn,

As a woman, I believe America deserves better than abortion.

Rep. Black purloined the same Pence-penned poison pill and put it forth herself. Even being from the same state and the same party, these two couldn’t communicate around a single bill, apparently. In the name of scoring Tea points, they both ignore the wide range of services most health care providers offer. They ignore the fact that without Planned Parenthood millions of women would have little or no access to critical health services and that the impact would be particularly hard on minorities, the poor, and rural women — all populations present in large numbers in Tennessee. How pathetic to see such self-loathing women pursue such a hateful agenda.

Dishonorable mention this week comes courtesy of my friend Jennifer Carey, who pointed me to some additional misogyny. Odious evangelist Pat Robertson managed to outdo himself in a broadcast this week. Responding to a question from a youth who was concerned that his father was spending too much time online, Robertson laid the blame firmly on the mother.

It may be your mom isn’t as sweet as you think she is. She may be kind of hard-nosed […] It’s easy to blame the mother! You always have to keep that spark of love alive. It just isn’t something to just lie there. ‘Well, I’m married to him so he’s got to take me slatternly looking.’ You’ve got to fix yourself up, look pretty.

Just when you thought he couldn’t sink any lower, Robertson manages to astound again; this man is one big ball of crazy and hate.

Bigot of the Week Award: January 4, Hobby Lobby

4 Jan
Bigot of the Week

Bigot of the Week

Sadly, ringing in the new year doesn’t stop the flow of ugly behavior that needs to be called out. This week’s winner managed a triple whammy with misogyny, religious hypocrisy, and anti-Obama (talk about racist undertones) shrieking all in one lawsuit.

Hobby Lobby is a chain that operates over 540 craft and hobby stores in 41 states. It was founded by evangelical fundamentalist David Green and is privately owned by his family. As with any other major employer, they are bound by Federal laws regarding employment. That includes the insurance aspects of the Affordable Care Act, which requires employers to provide coverage for a wide range of birth control options. There is an exemption for very small businesses and churches.

The Green family sued, maintaining that the law infringes their religious freedom. They’re playing the victim card, making the usual faulty claim that how they worship should be related to how they operate their PRIVATE SECULAR business. The Greens can believe whatever they want; what they cannot do is impose those religious beliefs on their employees. By choosing to operate in the public sphere, they are bound by laws designed for the public good. This is true of the family’s other holdings, including the Mardel chain of bookstores.

How typical of far too many false christians to whine about their rights while trying to suppress the rights and freedoms of others. How dare the women that work for them want fair and equal access to health care? How dare the President try to provide that care in a fair and reasonable way to all Americans, regardless of how they spend their Sunday mornings?

The Green’s lawsuit has been blocked at every level. They petitioned the Supreme Court, but Justice Sotomayor denied the petition, stopping the case. Right wing groups are making them out to be martyrs, mounting “Hobby Lobby Days” like the circus that they spun out of Chik-Fil-A’s hate sandwiches. Hobby Lobby says it will lose $1.3 million per day for refusing to implement the law. There’s an easy solution: realize that you sell bedazzlers and don’t operate churches. Treat your employees with respect and human decency. I think that’s what Jesus just might do.

Number 2 Bigot of the Year 2012: Republican Party Platform

30 Dec
Number 2 Bigot of 2012

Number 2 Bigot of 2012

There are those who claim that a party platform is just a bunch of words to rally the faithful and that what matters is each candidate. To them I say, words matter. Candidates who stand up under a party banner should note what they claim to stand for. This year, the Republican party approved a rancid Tea-soaked platform that slid even further backward into a viciously white, male, heterosexist hierarchy. With that being said, I still refuse to paint all Republicans with this tea stained brush.

It should come as little surprise that the platform was rabidly anti-gay. FRC President Tony Perkins was allowed to draft language that not only called for a national one-man-one-woman amendment but targeted all the progress made during the Obama administration for dismantling.

The War on Women showed up in the guise of a personhood amendment, the most egregious type of attack on reproductive choice. Trampling freedom of religion, the platform trumpeted the farthest right of so-called christian values, elevating the “rights” of a random assemblage of cells over even the life of the mother. How very pro-life THAT is–protect the fetus at all cost, but damn the mother and the child after birth.

The platform also attacked health care and called for dismantling the Affordable Care Act without proposing any alternative. It painted immigrants as greedy illegals, celebrating Arizona and Alabama-style immigration laws and demanding intrusive bureaucracies to force companies to investigate all potential employees. How’s that for smaller government?

The hypocritical, anti-everyone — unless they’re white, rich, christian, heterosexual men — document was a shocker even for the 21st Century GOP. Sadly, the candidates picked up the hateful flag and marched.

Dishonorable mention goes to four particularly loathsome GOP men. Mitt Romney leads the list, railing against the LGBT community, women, and the poor while pretending to tack to the center. His cruel detachment and willingness to do anything to win make him a perfect exemplar of this decaying party. His running mate, Paul Ryan, gets special notice for his Randian budget plans, a real “I’ve got mine so go to Hell” approach to governance.

Two angry men round out the list. Regular TSM bigot winner Allen West leaves office in a fit of petulance. Despite his clear loss, he prepared to waste thousands of dollars and ignore election law to try to change the results. Fortunately, he was so nuts that even in Florida he couldn’t make the case. Sen John McCain (R – Pleistocene) rounds out the list. His regular angry rants hit a new low when he targeted U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice. He hypocritically attacked her integrity — after supporting Sarah (Gun) Palin and  Conoleezza Rice and her lying ways years earlier — in a blatant move to get John Kerry out of the Senate and give his mini-me Scott Brown another shot. What a sad, nasty creature our McCain (Gollum) is.

Number 3 Bigot of the Year 2012: GOP Rape Apologists

29 Dec
Number 3 Bigots of 2012

Number 3 Bigots of 2012

There were plenty of examples of the Republican War on Women in 2012, ranging from battles over contraception to the stunning failure to renew the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act. Nothing was quite so vile, however, as the shockingly repeated misogyny regarding rape. No fewer than five candidates for Federal office said something appalling about rape victims, often relating to shutting down a woman’s right to choose.  For a party that consistently demonstrated how much it HATES women, the GOP was determined to own every vagina in the land.

The most famous are Senate wannabes Todd Akin (MO) and Richard Mourdock (IN). Let’s take a quick look at the whole fool’s gallery.

  • “The right approach is to accept this horribly created, in the sense of rape, […] gift of human life and accept what God is giving to you.” Presidential candidate Rick Santorum (PA), Jan. 20
  • “If it’s an honest rape, that individual should go immediately to the emergency room; I would give them a shot of estrogen.” Rep. and Presidential candidate Ron Paul (TX), Feb. 3
  • “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to shut that whole thing down.” Senate candidate Todd Akin (MO), Aug. 20
  • “It was really an issue of the Catholic church being forced to offer those pills if the person came in with an emergency rape.” Senate candidate Linda McMahon (CT), Oct. 15
  • “When life begins with that horrible situation of rape, that is something that God intended to happen.” Senate candidate Richard Mourdock (IN), Oct. 23

Sadly,the media largely overlooked the first two, but Akin’s bizarre comment went viral and sunk his nearly sure thing candidacy. The GOP tried to get him out of the race, but he stayed put. With all their hopes for the Senate evaporating, the GOP leadership stuck by Mourdock. That included another lovely “gift from God” quote from Sen. John Cornyn (TX) and an endorsement from Mitt Romney. Happily for the nation, sensible voters said no to false KKKristianity and blatant misogyny.

Dishonorable mention for misogyny even beyond the GOP standard goes to radio blowhard Rush Limbaugh. Not content to rail against the contraceptive provisions in the Affordable Care Act, he targeted Sandra Fluke, a woman testifying before Congress about the need for contraceptive coverage. Limbaugh called her a slut and raved about contraception in a remarkably ignorant way, even for him. He devoted days of his show to the topic, resulting in a costly backlash as sponsors fled from his toxic spew.

Bigot of the Week Award: October 26: Richard Mourdock

26 Oct

Bigot of the Week

This week yet another Republican forgot his talking points and actually said what he meant. Thanks to my friend Jennifer Carey for pointing out this easy winner of this week’s BWA. Tea Party favorite Richard Mourdock unseated long-time Indiana Republican Senator Dick Lugar in this year’s primaries. In the debate for the Senate race on Monday, Mourdock — currently the state Treasurer — was asked about abortion and came up with this astounding answer.

Life is that gift from God that I think even if life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.

That’s right, folks, if a woman is raped and discovers she is pregnant, she should just smile and know that she’s carrying a gift from God. Now that’s some compassionate conservatism!  I wonder if some intelligent person cut Mourdock’s penis off, would we just saythat God intended that to happen?

Mourdock is just the latest in a series of Republicans who forgot to dissemble when asked about abortion and rape. Todd Akin and Linda McMahon have both put their electoral hopes on the skids with their spouting off. Let’s hope that Mourdock has done the same and that the extremist nominees put forward by the Teahadists dash any chances the GOP had of taking the Senate in November.

Dishonorable mention goes to the great dissembler himself, Mitt Romney. The Mittbot had just released a 30-second spot endorsing Mourdock before the debate. This is the only Senate race in which Romney has so actively inserted himself. Faced with Mourdock’s comments, Romney issued a bland “I disagree” and has since gone silent; he has not, however pulled the ads. Which is it Mitt?

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.

Hero of the Week: November 25, Gov. John Kitzhaber

25 Nov

Hero of the Week

In the wake of some truly despicable people being elected governors recently (think Rick Scott and Scott Walker, just for starters), we Oregonians got a refreshing reminder this week of just what a great decision we made in returning John Kitzhaber to the Governor’s office.

In a bold move that underscores his ethics and his leadership, Kitzhaber announced Tuesday that he will halt all death penalty executions in Oregon during his term as Governor.

Oregonians have a fundamental belief in fairness and justice – in swift and certain justice. The death penalty as practiced in Oregon is neither fair nor just; and it is not swift or certain. It is not applied equally to all. It is a perversion of justice that the single best indicator of who will and will not be executed has nothing to do with the circumstances of a crime or the findings of a jury. The only factor that determines whether someone sentenced to death in Oregon is actually executed is that they volunteer. The hard truth is that in the 27 years since Oregonians reinstated the death penalty, it has only been carried out on two volunteers who waived their rights to appeal.  In the years since those executions, many judges, district attorneys, legislators, death penalty proponents and opponents, and victims and their families have agreed that Oregon’s system is broken.  But we have done nothing. We have avoided the question.

Recognizing that Oregon voters have implemented and repealed the death penalty multiple times in the state’s 150-year history, the Governor bravely rejected the tepid “will of the voters” argument that has been used to support this deeply flawed system of injustice. Speaking from painful personal experience, he recalled that the only two executions since the death penalty was reinstated in 1984 were during his first administration, calling those deaths “the most agonizing and difficult decisions I have made as Governor.”

It takes a strong and courageous person to admit so publicly that he was wrong and a great leader to learn from such mistakes and ask his state to do better. Kitzhaber has called on the Oregon Legislature to investigate and implement an overhaul of the system during the 2013 legislative session. Let us hope that they listen to the Governor’s wise words and not the inevitable howling from the right as so-called “pro-life” lunatics insist on death for men and women sentenced in a deeply flawed and bigoted system.  I personally get tired of  the “pro-life” philosophy of “protect the fetus at all cost, so we can execute them as adults.”

Kitzhaber’s press release is required reading for understanding good government. Bravo, Mr. Governor! Thank you for giving Oregonians one more thing to be thankful for this week.

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