Monday Morning Open Thread: Sisters Are Doin’ It


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Apart from savoring a hard-earned victory, what’s on the agenda as we start the new week?

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Jay Willis, GQ, three days ago:

At around 1:30 in the morning, after he was sure that he finally had the attention of the Senate clerk and of his nervous, exhausted colleagues who had been watching his every move, John McCain dramatically plunged his outstretched arm downwards, finally sealing the fate of Mitch McConnell’s “skinny repeal” bill in a gesture that had all the drama of a WWE heel turn. It was a wild, shocking moment that drew gasps from the gallery, and the only reason it mattered at all is because, from the very beginning of this debacle of an effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, two women Republican senators—Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska—never gave a fucking inch…

The Affordable Care Act is safe because of the courage of two women who were not swayed by threats, bribes, and every brand of public and private pressure. They might not be getting as much shine as John McCain today, but they are far more deserving of it.

#EveryVoiceMatters



XX notes

Last night was a victory for women.

86% of all calls into Congress on healthcare were from women.

Nancy Pelosi was the Speaker of the House that could herd enough cats to get a fractious House caucus to vote for the bill that they were not thrilled about in 2010.

And the two Senators that held the line and who had formed the minimum necessary coalition to block the bill were women.

Senator McCain if he had not flown in at the start of the week would have been superflous as long as Senators Murkowski and Collins were going to vote not. A 99 vote Senate would have needed 50 Aye votes and no more than 49 Nay votes. The two women were Nay votes 49 and 50. They were enough to hold the line. Senator McCain may have been sufficient to drive at least a few garlic bulbs through reconciliation based repeal instead of repair bills.

And now the appropriate music…

Read more



Wednesday Morning Open Thread: By Hera!… (Don’t Buy Trump)

Details probably already known to all you comix aficionados, from the Hollywood Reporter:

The first weekend in June will belong to Wonder Woman.

Not only does the iconic superhero have her own Warner Bros. movie opening June 2, but DC Entertainment has declared the following day “Wonder Woman Day,” with more than 2,000 comic book stores, bookstores and libraries participating in a celebration of the beloved character. DC will partner with outlets including Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Walmart, Costco and Amazon for exclusive in-store and digital promotions, while Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Warner Bros. Consumer Products will also push the event…

Wonder Woman Day concludes DC’s yearlong celebration of the 75th anniversary of Wonder Woman’s first appearance. The hero debuted in 1941’s All-Star Comics No. 8. In addition to the release of her first solo movie, June 2017 also marks the 75th anniversary of the first solo Wonder Woman comic book.

Apart from planning for the weekend, what’s on the agenda for the day?

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“Birchbox co-founder”:



Peak Dude Bro

As predicted yesterday, Hillary Clinton’s Wellesley commencement speech riled up the usual suspects because Hillary Clinton. But I found the reaction from unpaid New Republic intern (I hope) Graham Vyse particularly irritating.

Not because it was worse than the drivel poured forth at Fox News, etc., but because it exemplifies a particular strain of post-election posturing about Clinton that makes me want to gather the sisterhood and embark on a cross-country nut-punching spree. The first fucking line is infuriating:

Hillary Clinton is auditioning for a role in the Trump resistance.

Motherfucker, do you even know WHY there is a Trump resistance? Do you understand how it launched? It’s because on November 8, 2016, the retrograde racist, sexist, xenophobic, authoritarian element that has sandbagged this country from its founding banded together with Eurotrash white nationalists to push a highly qualified woman aside and deliver the presidency to an ambulatory genital wart.

This outrage was unprecedented in its scale. But it reflected literally hundreds of millions of incidents every competent woman in this country has experienced at multiple points in her life. It was the ultimate confirmation of what women have felt in their bones from toddlerhood: We’ll never be good enough. We are second-class citizens.

Vyse goes on, citing as evidence of Clinton’s overweening ambition tweets from fellow dudes:

Clinton is adopting the language of the Trump resistance, and indeed there are indications that she wants to be a key figure in that movement.

Motherfucker, Clinton IS a “key figure in that movement,” whether she wants to be or not. Trump’s elevation to the presidency was and is a tragedy for the entire planet. Everyone who comprehends that fact has a role to play in mitigating the damage, pointing out the corruption and attempting to roll back this grave injustice.

But you can’t erase the most high profile victim of this crime and delegate Michael Moore or Bernie Sanders to lead the movement that sprang up in response to that outrage. We won’t let you.

And by “we,” I mean the millions of women who knitted caps until there was no more pink yarn. The women who drove all night to descend on Washington DC on January 21 and dwarf Trump’s inaugural crowd. Those who turned up to march in cities all around the world to form the largest single-day protest in the history of the planet. And the millions of women who are still calling, faxing and emailing their elected representatives to this day.

No, it wasn’t all about Hillary Clinton. It never was! But when you try to sideline her, many of us perceive that as a dismissal akin to the one we heard loud and clear on November 8. That pisses us off. And you wouldn’t like us when we’re pissed off.

Vyse concludes:

Clinton shouldn’t be a central resistance figure. What losing presidential candidate, after all, has ever returned to lead the opposition? Not John Kerry, not Al Gore, not Michael Dukakis. The Democratic Party is right to be elevating its younger rising stars. But clearly she still feels the pull of politics, and who’s going to stop her from giving speeches and interviews whenever she pleases? The Bernie Sanders wing of the party might want to wish her away, but only she has the power to decide that.

Kerry, Gore and Dukakis? Just shut the fuck up right there, Mr. Vyse. Kerry, Gore and Dukakis weren’t trying to become the first woman to ascend to the presidency in the 241-year history of our republic. They didn’t win more popular votes than anyone besides Barack Obama only to be robbed by corrupt traitors colluding with a hostile foreign power to install an embarrassing and incompetent demagogue.

And in case you didn’t notice while cherry-picking Clinton’s speech to find triggering evidence of female ambition, the central theme of it was to motivate the enthusiastic young women graduating that day to take leadership and create change. Hell, she even said “run for office.” It’s right there in her speech. We heard her. Did you?

As for the “Bernie Sanders wing of the party,” I can only speak for myself when I say I stand with all Democrats who are united in resisting Trump and the Republicans’ disastrous agenda. I’m glad Clinton called it what it is — a con. I’m glad a $15 minimum wage is now official Democratic Party policy. But no faction within our party gets to tell the other to sit down and shut up. Not now. Not ever.

That said, I would like to offer a piping hot mug of shut the fuck up to Mr. Vyse and the countless other young white fellas in prominent perches throughout our liberal media. But after that, the fucking kitchen is closed. Make your own goddamned sammitch.



To all the ladies who want to control when they have babies

In other healthcare news, President Trump signed an executive order on religious liberty. The ACLU is not too concerned about it as it is mostly a photo-op but it is an indicator that the provision of no cost-sharing long acting reversible contraception as a key covered service in the ACA plans is at risk.

IUD’s are reliable. They are long run inexpensive as their break even point compared to hormonal oral contraception is between twenty and thirty months if we neglect unexpected pregnancy costs. If we include incremental unexpected pregnancy costs, their break even point is short.. They empower female autonomy in social, economic and sexual domains. They also prevent abortions.

IUDs currently are a no cost sharing service under the ACA by regulation. This regulation can be re-written through the normal rule making process. That process probably will not effect covered services for 2017 but it probably will have define what has to be covered at no cost sharing in 2018.

If you were thinking about getting an IUD, schedule the appointment.
If your current LARC needs to be replaced soon, schedule the appointment.
If you currently use barrier or oral hormonal methods and don’t want to get pregnant for several years, schedule an appointment.

Protect yourselves as well as you can.



Open Thread: Margaret Atwood, Prophetess

Each of the three protesters faces up to 12 months in jail, $2,000 in fines, or both, depending on the outcome of a June 21 sentencing hearing…

In verdicts returned shortly after noon Wednesday, the jury also convicted two other activists in the group she was with, Tighe Barry and Lenny Bianchi, who were dressed as Ku Klux Klan members with white hoods and robes and stood up before the Jan. 10 hearing started.

In an April court filing, the office of the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia had argued that all three protesters shared a common goal to “impede and disrupt” the hearing. Ms. Fairooz, the office said, had “created a scene.”

It was early in the hearing when Senator Richard Shelby, Republican of Alabama, said that Mr. Sessions’s record of “treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well-documented,” Ariel Gold, the campaign director of Code Pink, said on Wednesday…

The Malevolent Leprechaun will not be mocked!!!



Saturday Morning Open Thread: Same As It Ever Was

And yet… from NYMag‘s The Cut, “7 Important Things Hillary Clinton Said at the Women in the World Summit”:

In her first public interview since the election, Hillary Clinton sat down [Thursday] with the New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof at Tina Brown’s Women in the World Summit to address a number of topics: her emotions after November 8, the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency, and the ongoing attack on women’s rights around the world…

She did get a kick out of the health-care bill mess.
“I will confess to this: having listened to them talk about repeal and replace for 7 years now, they had not a clue what that meant; they had no idea. I don’t know that any of them had ever even read the bill – read the law, understood how it worked. It was so obvious. Health care is complicated, right? They don’t know what to do, and I do admit that was somewhat gratifying.”…

She believes women’s rights are under attack around the world.
“The targeting of women — which is what is going on — is absolutely beyond any political agenda. There is something else happening here. So the global gag rule, that bounces back and forth between Republican and Democrats, but the way they wrote it this time — not like Bush did, not like Reagan did — this time would be to remove all aid if there is some kind of alleged breach. Because you provide family planning services, but somebody says to a woman desperate to get an abortion because she has been told she will die if she bears another child so then you try to help her and you lose everything. And then you follow that with the U.N. population fund … The impact that those dollars have is saving women and children’s lives and helping women have a better shot at a future… This is not just the right and moral position for the United States to take; this in our national security interest. The more we support women, the more we support democracy … Women’s issues are national security issues around the world.”

She’s still not sure why everyone hated her so much, but she has stopped caring.
“I am not perfect, everybody knows that by now … Sometimes I don’t know quite how to fix what they are concerned about. But I try. And so, I take it seriously, but I don’t any longer, and haven’t for a long time taken it personally. Because part of the attacks … part of the bullying and part of the name calling — and that has certainly become more pervasive — is to crush your spirit and feel inadequate. And I just refused to do that — and that infuriated everyone.”

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Apart from continuing to #Resist, what’s on the agenda for the weekend?

Oh, incidentally… HRClinton’s favorite Trump .gif: