Because Even The Thought of the Unborn Counts For More Than A Real Live Girl.

I got nothing to add to this, just up over at TPM:

On Thursday night, hours before passing the tax cut compromise, House Republicans thwarted a bill that aimed to protect girls around the world from being coerced into child marriage. They opposed it because, they claimed, it might fund abortions.

That ordering of priorities is loathesome to me, but at least one could come up with an internally consistent argument to defend it.


But, of course, this is your modern GOP, which means that,

The text of the bill does not mention abortion, contraception or family planning. Instead, it directs the president to make preventing child marriage a priority, especially in countries where more than 40 percent of girls under the age of 18 are married. The ways to do that, according to the bill: support educating communities on the dangers and health effects of child marriage, keep young girls in school, support female mentoring programs and….

One more thing.  What might that be?  Oh.  I’ve got it.  The bill would…

…make sure girls have access to health care services.

And we all know what that means.


We do, don’t we?


Well — the House Republican caucus sure does:

It’s the “health care services” provision that had Republicans riled, according to a spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner, whose name is on the whip alert and who voted no on the bill.

“The concern was that the reference to ‘health services’ in the bill — under the current Administration — would include abortion services,” the spokesman, Michael Steel, told TPM.

Oh sweet proto-pastalicious mother of the FSM!*


Heaven forfend that eight year old girls should have access to a clinic.  Let no pious Republican allow any child, anywhere, come within a court ordered 250 ft of mention of the words “family planning.”  Let any number of actual, breathing people suffer lest even the hint of ten cents of US taxpayer money somehow roll into the hands of someone who might have performed an abortion.


The GOP is not a party deserving of or capable of exercising power.  I’m sure the usual suspects will continue to dig up the least grotesque among their leaders to suggest that this might not be true — Mitch Daniels, anyone?  But the reality is that the body of the party is hopelessly committed to a series of battles, agendas, and allegiances that will accelerate America’s regression to the mean.  We can’t suffer their influence in safety much any longer


Pars grandaeva delenda est.**


*The virgin bucatini?  The Sober Soba?  The Unrolled Raviol? Inquiring minds want to know!


**Thanks to the corrector of all the abuses I commit against Latinists everywhere, Ian Preston.  Any other suggestions for good bad Latin for “the GOP?”


Image:  Jan van Eyck, The Arnolfini Portrait, 1434

Pretty Much This

Sullivan basically sums it all up- the Republicans are just dicks:

What we’ve observed these past two years is a political party that knows nothing but scorched earth tactics, cannot begin to see any merits in the other party’s arguments, refuses to compromise one inch on anything, and has sought from the very beginning to do nothing but destroy the Obama presidency. I see no other coherent message or strategy since 2008. Just opposition to everything, zero support for a president grappling with a recession their own party did much to precipitate, and facing a fiscal crisis the GOP alone made far worse with their spending in the Bush-Cheney years. There is not a scintilla of responsibility for their past; not a sliver of good will for a duly elected president. Worse, figures like Cantor and McCain actively seek to back foreign governments against the duly elected president of their own country, and seek to repeal the signature policy achievement of Obama’s first two years, universal healthcare.

Expect it to continue. They’ve paid not price, the media is wholly uninterested in calling them on it, and the corporate powers that decide these things are thrilled. The Republicans were just rewarded with a massive victory in the midterms, and our President, as much as I love him, seems intent on avoiding conflict to the point of being a one-term punchline.

Not to go all Eeyore on you, but I’ve about abandoned all hope with the news the Democrats are going to cave on taxes. I’m astounded that they are going to fuck this up. Literally, they have to do nothing and the tax cuts expire. It will take actual work to fuck this up, but they are going to pull it off. Why they won’t listen to folks like Kos, let the Bush tax cuts expire, and then craft their own tax policy and dare the GOP to vote against it is beyond me.

I thought maybe after being the GOP’s prison bitch for the last two years, the administration would come out swinging and put up a fight. Instead, it looks like they intend to shiv their supporters.

Shifting the Overton Window, to Recalibrate the Evil-Stupid Axis

Reporting from the intersection of Oversharing Ave and Political Grandstanding Blvd, Adrian Chen at Gawker introduces us to the worst pro-life campaigners since Beccah Beushausen’s Internet hoax:

The Arnolds are having a baby. Unless the public votes to have the child aborted. Meet the couple behind, where “you can vote and choose whether we abort or keep our unborn child.”
Pete and Alisha Arnold, both 30, both tech professionals, live in the Minneapolis suburb of Apple Valley and have been married for 10 years. Since September, they’ve blogged about their expected child at, posting health updates about the mother and the fetus (which will be 17 weeks-old tomorrow), and ultrasound pictures and video. But at the top of the blog is a poll hosted by The question: “Should We Give Birth or Have an Abortion?” “Give Birth” has 46 percent of the vote at the moment, with “Have an Abortion” at 54 percent. The poll closes on December 7th.
That someone would do this is almost impossible to believe, of course. We asked the Arnolds if this was some sort of a prank. “No, it’s not. We are taking this very seriously,” Pete replied. We then asked if this was some sort of convoluted pro-life stunt. Alisha laughed. “It’s definitely not a pro-life campaign,” she said. “I believe in a woman’s right to choose.”
According to the couple, they’ve been unsure about whether they’re ready to be parents and have concluded that the best way to proceed is to ask random people on the Internet if they should have the child. (Tests have revealed that the fetus is a boy.) Alisha said that two pregnancies ended in two miscarriages in the past year and a half. During the second pregnancy, the couple bought the domain, and were in the process of deciding whether to put the birth up to a vote when they lost the baby. When Alisha got pregnant a third time a few months ago, they decided to launch…

I went and read their website. My vote: Read Chen’s article, which is more than fair, and don’t give these poseurs further clicks. Yes, the Arnolds are “pro-life” (anti-choice); not even the most committed thought-experimenters posts ultrasound pictures of the fetus they’re calling “Baby Wiggles” (and blogs exhaustively about their deeply felt love and commitment to each other and posterity) just to establish their impeccable impartiality. The whole thing is a deeply unserious attempt to “creatively” re-frame, yet again, the same tired arguments about a medical procedure:

Pete, who described himself as a Libertarian, framed the couple’s majority-rule abortion as kind of an extreme civics lesson that he hoped would bring the abortion debate home. “Voting is such an important part of who we are as a people,” Pete said. “Here’s a chance where people can be heard about whether they are pro-choice or whether they are pro-life, and it makes a difference in the real world.”

And once Pete & Alisha have finished their long-tried-for, hopefully successful pregnancy, they’re going to start protesting insurance coverage for gall bladder operations (the greedy pigs who need them could just commit to living on an ultra-low-fat diet, after all). Or take up the burning question of our tax dollars being wasted on Medicaid prostate-cancer screening, since most of those old goats will die from other causes long before their tumors metastasize. No woman with the resources to access blogs on the internet fails to realize that abortion terminates the existence of a potential human being; serious arguments involve weighting an individual pregnant woman’s needs against those of the individual fetus(es) within her body. Those of us who are proudly pro-choice believe that each woman should be free to decide for herself whether or not to carry a particular pregnancy to term; all else is commentary.

I’ll give the Arnolds this much credit: No “DONATE” button on the front page of their blog, at least. But I vote with Chen:

Regardless of your position on abortion, all of these possibilities suggest these people should never, ever raise a kid.

I Fought The Law, and….?

Nevada Senator John Ensign (R-homewrecker) skates on sex/bribery charges before the Federal Election Commission despite the fact that it is undisputed that his parents forked ovre $96k to his mistress for…what? Services rendered? Silence?

And why does this moral crater slide like butter down the side of prime steak?


Because his parents say they were so moved by their love of their son’s object of desire that they it was just a joy to hand her and her family nearly 100 big ones.  It was a gift, you see, and no, not ever, never a bribe.

And the FEC did not spit in stifled laughter at this nonsense.  Oh no.  They swallowed:

“As a practical matter, it is doubtful that an investigation would produce any additional evidence that would contradict or outweigh this testimony,” the FEC wrote. “Accordingly, we conclude that an investigation in this matter is unwarranted and would not be an efficient use of Commission resources.”

Nothing to see here, move along…


I’m not a lawyer (yes — this is yet another field of knowledge about which I know nothing) so I can’t judge whether or not the evidentiary standard the FEC invokes here is really this constraining.

But there is no way this passes the smell test.

The man catted around; arranged to have his mistress paid off; and he’s good to go.

Ladies and Gentlemen:  Your Republican Party.


With an emphasis on Party.


Update: and yeah, I know that IOKIYAR is old, old news.  But I’m antique enough and tired enough that this kind of naked, in-my-face reminder that there is one law for thee and me and one for them…F**k it.  I can’t even write a simple sentence about this any more, I’m that pissed.

Image:  Eugène Delacroix, “Louis d’Orléans Showing His Mistress,” 1825-6

Annals of the Gutless, Vol. MMX. (Or Right-Wing Chickenhawks Seek Male Enhancement Therapy)

I’m working on something more substantial on Bobo’s latest travesty, but my amusement/outrage meter pegged to the right when I read this over at TPM.

EDIT:  DougJ beat me to this. So instead of repeating the offending quote from Bryan (I’d have been Rambo if I hadn’t had more important things to do) Fischer…

Let me just say this.

Who is Bryan Fischer?

He would be the guy who’s spent his career bashing gays (lately, equating gay sex with domestic terrorism, a comparison so special that it  screams out loud for Chris Rock treatment, but I ain’t that funny and so won’t try), hating on bears

(not [just] the gay kind)…

…and so loves himself the idea of religious freedom that only Christians, (and only some of them) need apply.


That would not be a Bryan Fisher who, according to his bio over at the American Family Association (sic and sick — and no link love from me, boyo) ever managed to find it in his holy American courageousness to put himself in harm’s way.   Instead his has been a perfectly cossetted life:  elite college; God-talk graduate school; a church job here and another there, before climbing all the way onto the bedroom-snifffing wingnut welfare gravy train.

This isn’t what you’d call a grown up thought, and it’s certainly not a Christian one — if the goal of imitating Jesus is still recognized as foundational — but hell, I’m no follower of the cross anyway, so I’ll just dream on:  I’d love to lock Bryan Fischer into a room with some folks who’ve actually done their duty in the unremembered valleys and hills of Afghanistan.

Just for just a little while.

We might see just how “masculine” Mr. Fischer would seem in that company

P.S. No post wandering around this general area would be complete without this comment from Professor M. Python:

lumberjack song

Image:  Frederick Stuart Church, “The Rites of Spring” before 1924