Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Love this picture.

All from The Boston Globe:

Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren, seen below walking today at the US Capitol with Senator-elect Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., kept a low profile as she attended orientation sessions for new senators.

Show this to your kids!

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The Petraeus/ Broadwell story gets stranger by the minute, but did you see this from The Guardian?

The CIA has dismissed as “baseless” and “uninformed” claims made by the former lover of ex-agency chief David Petraeus that Libyan militants were held in secret US prisons prior to the deadly Benghazi consulate attack.

Paula Broadwell, the biographer whose affair with Petraeus led to his abrupt resignation Friday, alleged that the assault, in which US ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed, was an attempt to free men being detained in a covert CIA annex.

Speaking last month at the University of Denver, Broadwell further alleged that Petreaus knew about the secret holding cells.

President Barack Obama stripped the CIA of its power to take prisoners through an executive order signed soon after his inauguration in January 2009…

The comments were recorded and posted in a YouTube clip which has since been taken down.

Read the rest here.

And this is pretty funny from The New Yorker: “How to Tell If You’re Involved in the Petraeus Scandal.”

How sick are we of this narrative? Powerful man brought down by his lust for younger woman blah blah blah. You know the only thing that will change this tired story? More women in power.

Frank Bruni has a great piece in the NYT about the sexism inherent in the scandal and the coverage of it: “Such adamant women, such pregnable men. We’ve been stuck on this since Eve, Adam and the Garden of Eden. And it’s true: Eve shouldn’t have been so pushy with the apple.” Read Bruni’s post here.

My favorite Tweet from Amanda Marcotte: “I love how sexists both believe men are incapable of impulse control AND should be the holders of all meaningful power.”

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The humiliation of Karl Rove

My husband and I just happened to have the awesome luck of stumbling onto Fox News right as Karl Rove accused the conservative network of calling Ohio, and thus the Presidential race, too early. Watching the baffled Fox anchors and staff react to Rove’s stubborn denial of reality was a great TV moment.

All this a day before the Republican party and its big donors tore down Rove for taking $300 million and coming back with nothing. Chuck Schumer rightly pointed out, “If Crossroads were a business and Rove was the CEO he’d be fired for getting poor return for his investors.”

Here’s one funny scene from Fox.

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Congratulations women and congratulations Barack Obama!

Let’s get these numbers up to 50%. Obviously, all female politicians aren’t pro-choice, including Senators. With so few women allowed into power, it can be easier for women to achieve with an anti-woman agenda (See Sarah Palin.) But the more women we get into government proportionally, the more supportive the government will be of women. It’s pretty impossible for a country with women in only 16% of power positions to be pro-woman.

About those losses, Richard Mourdock (“And even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen”) Todd Aiken (“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”) Joe Walsh (“With modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance…there’s no exception for the life of the mother”) perhaps the Republican party should reconsider its policy and start treating women like human beings.

via RH Reality Check

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Margot —

If you’re reading this email, you’re a woman, or you care about someone who is.

This year, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and the backers behind their ticket are not running on what one would call a pro-women agenda. They are running on a platform of paternalistic, outdated, chauvinistic ideas — and in practice those ideas are genuinely harmful to women.

Here’s what women can expect if Romney-Ryan and the Republicans win:

A repeal of Obamacare and the free preventive screenings it covers. A return to discrimination against women by insurance companies. No support in the fight for equal pay for equal work. Supreme Court justice nominations based on radical ideology.

Every election is important, but I think this one will truly define what America is about.

I’m calling on you today because you are one of the people who can make the difference in this election. Democrats like us must, with no exceptions, speak up for women, for our children and grandchildren.

This election will be close, and your donation of $375 or more is crucial to this fight:


This election is ours to win or lose — and a win for Mitt Romney and Republicans is a big loss for America’s women.

Thank you for your help.


Madeleine Albright

For my thoughts on a Romney presidency and sex discrimination read here.

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Richard Mourdock, a Republican running for Senate in Indiana, said yesterday that when a woman becomes pregnant by rape, “it is something that God intended.”

USA Today reports:

Asked whether abortion should be allowed in cases of rape or incest, Mourdock said during Tuesday’s debate, “I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God.”

Of course Mourdock “struggled” with the rape/ incest/ life of the mother abortion exceptions that some pro-life Republicans support. If you believe that the embryo has human rights, no abortion exception makes sense. If abortion is murder, you can never justify that murder, regardless of how that embryo came into being. That’s just logic.

You’d think, logically, at the very least, pro-life candidates would be fighting like hell to make sure all women have access to contraception so at least raped women would have a better chance of not getting pregnant.

Mitt Romney, who is pro-life, is trying to differentiate his position from Mourdock’s controversial statement. Unfortunately, it’s Romney’s position, which, on a good day allows three abortion exceptions, that is, once again, unclear, inconsistent, and illogical. If you are pro-life, embryo rights must supersede women’s rights. Eventually, Romney will admit that.

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Richard Mourdock, a Republican running for Senate in Indiana, said yesterday that when a woman becomes pregnant by rape, “it is something that God intended.”

Regardless of God’s will, can we at least all agree that forcing a raped woman to give birth radically affects her economic well-being?

Pregnant women need health care. What if the raped woman is lower-income? How will she afford her monthly and then weekly ob-gyn visits? What about the cost of the birth? What if she has a c-section? What if she has an ectopic pregnancy? What if she hemorrhages during the birth? If she has a job, how much maternity leave will she get? Will she be able to stay at her job when she has a baby to take care of? How will she afford childcare? What about her child’s education? Will she be able to send her child to a safe school with good teachers? How will the raped woman afford health care for her child?

I am so sick of Republicans who are against reproductive rights, health care that covers contraception, and adequate funds for public education claiming that they care about improving the economy and jobs for everyone. Clearly, the only economy and the only jobs Republican policies support are those of high income males. Romney’s economic strategy comes down to this: If male breadwinners do well, America will do well. So if your financial health depends on a rich guy, Romney may be your candidate. But if it doesn’t, or if you’d rather is didn’t, consider voting for Obama in November.

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Republican rep Joe Walsh is running for congress in Illinois. Last night, he told reporters that there should be no abortion exception for the life of the mother.

Of this inane statement, Planned Parenthood writes: “This is exactly why politicians have no place in a woman’s personal medical decisions.”

Not long ago, Rep. Todd Aiken said: “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Who do you think should have the legal right to advise women on health choices: doctors or politicians?

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In this week’s debate, Romney refused to say he will support the Lily Ledbetter Act for equal pay but promised to get women home from work in time so they can “make dinner.” He lied about taking initiative in seeking out women candidates for high power jobs and refused to fess up to his promise to defund Planned Parenthood.

At least, in the VP debate, Paul Ryan was honest about his views against reproductive rights. I can respect that. But Mitt Romney is a liar and that terrifies me about any possibility of him becoming president.

Obama, on the other hand, talked in the debate about Lily Ledbetter which he signed into law. More importantly, he told Americans: “These aren’t women’s issues, they are family issues.” He discussed how it’s crucial for women’s wallets that contraception is covered by healthcare plans.

That connection should be obvious.

One more time: contraception is an economic issue and a health care issue for women. Reproductive rights are not a “single issue,” in some separate “category.”

What is there that is confusing about this? Not only is contraception used to treat all kinds of medical issues, but pregnancy is a medical issue. What is there that people don’t get about the physical dangers of pregnancy? Is the argument that contraception is preventative health care so, therefore, women shouldn’t get it covered? All kinds of preventative health care are covered by insurance. In fact, America’s whole medical system is moving towards focusing on prevention. Is it that sex is optional behavior, so if you get pregnant, it’s your fault? But if you go skiing and break your arm, you get treated and covered. It doesn’t matter that you “opted” to go skiing.

It all comes down to this: Women’s bodies are different than men’s bodies and as such, have different needs. Refusing to cover contraception is sex discrimination and no health insurance company should be allowed to refuse to cover medical care based on gender.

Obama gets that. Mitt Romney doesn’t give a shit.

Last night, On CNN’s “Outfront” host Erin Burnett talked about a “shocking” new Gallup poll where 39% women said that abortion was the number one issue for them in the presidential election. Apparently, this poll is shocking because women have been saying that the economy is the most important issue.

Once again: reproductive rights are an economic issue.

Here is my letter that I posted to Obama before the debate:

Dear Obama,

Please talk about women tonight. You didn’t, even one time, in the last debate.

If you get asked about the role of government again tonight, please be more eloquent and passionate. Please point out Mitt Romney’s hypocrisy: he claims to support small government when he wants to get involved in the most intimate and private parts of women’s lives. Clearly, he doesn’t care about small government; he cares about big business.

Mr. President, please explain to Americans tonight that reproductive rights, including choice and birth control, are economic issues. Please say that if women don’t have access to basic health care, which, of course, for female bodies must include contraception, it makes it much harder to get or hold a job.

Please tell Americans that we can’t talk about jobs for women, or the economy improving for women, without securing basic reproductive rights.

Please explain to Americans that if embryo rights supersede human rights, women have no rights at all.

Obama said all of this in the debate and more.

Whereas when “women’s issues” come up on any TV show, talk radio program, or political speech, Republicans keep saying that all women care about is jobs. Abortion is a “single-issue,” important to a minority of “single-issue voters.”

But there are no jobs, there is no economy for women without reproductive rights. That would be like asking men, if you don’t have human rights, what are your thoughts on health care? What do you think about education? What about foreign policy?

It makes no sense.

The whole “socially liberal, fiscally conservative” category makes no sense either. For women, for families, and therefore, you’d think, for men: fiscal issues are “social” issues. Mitt Romney is “socially conservative,” and therefore, “fiscally” his policies are really bad for women. And for families.

Perhaps, if families are structured around a male breadwinner with a large income who has the support of a stay-at-home mom who wants lots of kids, Romney’s categories and policies apply. But how many families in America fit that description in 2012? How many parents want their kids to grow up in and into replicating that model?

It comes down to this: the political categories created and enforced by power structures dominated by men are anachronistic and no longer apply to Americans as they are currently structured in polls and so many debates. All issues are “women’s issues.” That should be obvious to any President of the USA. Reproductive rights are human rights, because, once again: if embryo rights supersede human rights then women have no rights at all.

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