The Widdershins

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It seems that 99.9% of all political sex offenders are always Republicans, but the .01% of Democrats all seem to come from New York! I’m annoyed, pissed off and disappointed at how these New York Democratic men have been conducting themselves over the past several years. Governor Cuomo is only the latest example of Manhattan Men Behaving Badly (and frankly, I want him to wait out the investigation because something smells Al Franken-y about this one). Is there something in the water?!

2008 – Governor Eliot Spitzer, a rock star of the Party and seemingly headed for higher office, was caught using prostitutes – and didn’t hide the money trail so well either.

The investigation of Spitzer was initiated after North Fork Bank[1] reported suspicious transactions to the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network as required by the Bank Secrecy Act, which was enhanced by Patriot Act provisions, enacted to combat terrorist activity such as money laundering.[2] Spitzer had at least seven liaisons with prostitutes from the agency over six months, and paid more than $15,000 for their services. Federal agents had him under surveillance twice in 2008.[3][4][5] According to published reports, investigators believe Spitzer paid up to $80,000 for prostitutes over a period of several years – first while he was attorney general, and later as governor.[6][7][8] Governor Spitzer, referred to as “Client 9” in an affidavit filed in US Federal Court,[9] arranged to meet at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington on February 13, 2008 with a prostitute named “Kristen”. “Kristen” was later identified as 22-year-old Ashley Dupré.[10][11] She intended to travel from New York City for the planned tryst and Spitzer agreed in advance that he “would be paying for everything—train tickets, cab fare from the hotel and back, mini-bar or room service, travel time and hotel”.[12] After the meeting on February 13, 2008, Spitzer paid her $4,300 in cash.[13] The payment included $1,100 as a deposit with the agency toward future services.[14]

2011 – Next there was Democrat Anthony Weiner, an up-and-coming seven-term New York Representative whom MadamaB saw speak at a single-payer advocacy group meeting (he was terrific) – but alas, he couldn’t keep it in his pants either, and ended up several years later disgraced, divorced from Hillary’s BFF Huma Abedin, and registered as a sex offender. WTAF!

2018 – Now this one was ugly and mind-boggling. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (yes I voted for him!) was a long-time favorite in the Empire State. He had a history of advocacy for liberal causes, including the cause of protecting women from harassment and abuse.

In its first year in office, the Trump administration sought to scrap numerous Obama-era environmental regulations which Trump had often referred to as an impediment to business.[40] Saying, “Over and over again, the Trump administration has put the profits of multinational polluters over the health and well-being of everyday Americans,” Schneiderman filed over 50 lawsuits opposing Trump’s environmental revisions.[41]
In February 2018, Schneiderman brought a civil rights lawsuit against The Weinstein Company, alleging the company “repeatedly broke New York law by failing to protect its employees from pervasive sexual harassment, intimidation, and discrimination”. The lawsuit delayed the sale of The Weinstein Company with the Attorney General adding, “Any sale of the Weinstein Company must ensure that victims will be compensated.”[42][43]

When it came out that four women had accused Schneiderman of physical and emotional abuse, I really couldn’t believe it, but the women were credible and it was clear he had to resign.

Now in case you were noticing that all these men are Jewish, take heart! There’s a Christian on this list as well.

2021 – New York Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo is caught up in yet another cosmic clusterf*ck. Is he corrupt and a sexual harasser? Is he the victim of a setup a la Al Franken? I don’t know, but frankly, I’m tired of hearing about all this sh*t from New York Democratic men.

Maybe try electing a woman now and then, eh Noo Yawk?

Tawk amongst yerselves!

So the Mango Moron, the only pResident ever to brag about “acing” a cognitive impairment test, is trying to smear Joe Biden as not all there, mentally speaking. He’s made big ad buys with this messaging in swing states, and his campaign keeps doubling down on the “strategy.”

This isn’t going over well with the most reliable group of voters: people over 65. Turns out leaving older people to die in nursing homes of Covid-19, trying to take health care away from the survivors, then smearing them as unfit to serve as President are somehow not winning strategies. Who knew?

More troubling for the president, Biden has moved ahead among voters 65 or older in several national surveys, including a significant 14-point advantage in a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday, helping propel him to double-digit leads nationally. Trump won seniors by 7 percentage points in 2016 over Hillary Clinton, according to exit polls, with white senior voters a key part of his coalition. 

“It can certainly backfire among senior voters, and it’s not something you want to do when you’re already starting to lose their votes,” said Todd Belt, professor and political management program director at George Washington University. “We’ve seen a big shift in the over-65 population moving towards Biden. This isn’t a really good strategy to win them back.”

This isn’t the only voting block Drumpf is losing massively. Ex-Republican strategist Jennifer Rubin writes in the Washington Post that, basically, everybody hates Donald. All the voters who helped Drumpf get close enough to steal the election in 2016 are running to Biden in droves. And now the polls are showing double-digit leads all over the map.

By now I’m sure you’re thinking, “How are we going to screw this up? Because we always do.” I know, I know. I have thoughts like that too. But sadly, I think the only way we could have “screwed it up” was to nominate another woman. Unfortunately, this country is so godd*mn misogynistic that they elected a sexual predator, money launderer and traitor rather than voting for THAT WOMAN.

And what really hurts is that Democrats wouldn’t vote for her either. Wouldn’t stand up for her when she was smeared by Bernie for six months in 2016, wouldn’t help her fight against the blizzard of negative press, wouldn’t amplify her message as Drumpf got $2 Billion in free advertising from NBC and other “news” outlets. They claim it was all because Hillary was [fill in horrible misogynistic trope here], but in reality, there is no woman they would vote for. When push came to shove, they wouldn’t have pulled the lever for Elizabeth, Kamala, Kirsten or Amy. And we can’t count on them, ever, to do it.

So thankfully, we have a 77-year-old white man as our nominee. His color, age and gender allow all those Democrats and previously Republican voters to feel “safe” voting for him. Heaven forbid we should ever elect a woman who actually MAKES US SAFE when crises hit. Because those Republican voters felt “safer” voting for Drumpf, a sociopathic predator, than voting for Hillary – a Secretary of State, First Lady of Arkansas and FLOTUS, attorney, and mother (and grandmother).

Well, here we are.

 

Do you remember this article from a couple of years back? It was big in the media for a few days. Want to fight climate change? Have fewer children.

Having a child contributes some thirty times as much to warming the planet as the next closest action an individual can take: living without a car.

 

Climate change impact of having a child: each one adds 58.6 tons of CO2 equivalents per year. Using a car adds 2.4 tCO2e per year.

 

 

And yet, amidst all the discussion of air travel and bicycling and electric vehicles, there’s a ban on mentioning population control.

Another example I came across recently was in a very encouraging article about greening the Sahel in Africa.

… {Farmers had a] cheap, effective way to regreen the Sahel. They did so by using simple water harvesting techniques and protecting trees that emerged naturally on their farms.

Garrity recalls walking through farms in Niger, fields of grains like millet and sorghum stretching to the sun planted around trees, anywhere from a handful to 80 per acre. “In most cases, the trees are in random locations because they sprouted and the farmer protected them and let them grow,” he says. [Depending on species] [t]he trees can be cut for fuel… They can be pruned for livestock fodder. Their leaves and fruit are nutritious.

One tree, Faidherbia albida, goes dormant during the wet season when most trees grow. When the rains begin, the trees defoliate, dropping leaves that fertilize the soil. Because they have dropped their leaves, the trees do not shade crops during the growing season. Their value had long been recognized by farmers….

[But] “He laments that work is moving too slowly. With the Sahel’s population doubling in 20 years, Reij says regreening needs to be finished within 10 to 15 years.”

He makes it sound as if this doubling is a great force beyond human influence, like a solar storm or a meteor strike. It’s not. It’s merely human reproduction. We’re helpless only because the subject is so untouchable it can’t even be said out loud.

What’s up with that?

I think the answer lies in the two possible trajectories to control births.

One is coercive. China’s one child policy is perhaps the most famous recent example. Since women are the ones giving birth, you have to control women. You punish them if they have too many children. You enforce abortions on mothers. Or, if you’re a Nazi in the 1930s who wants lots of blond babies and no browner ones, you try to enforce a eugenics program on women. You sterilize gypsies or the disabled or Jews while giving “your” women the option to be incubators or nothing.

All those methods involve hideously totalitarian pre-emption of individual choice and body autonomy (like the supporters of forced pregnancy, but we’re more used to them so it doesn’t feel as outlandish). But on the bright side, they don’t require any changes to misogynist and patriarchal social systems.

The other trajectory is to give women control over their own reproduction. Wherever that is done, birth rates drop dramatically. They may not fall all the way to replacement levels, but they get much closer than any other method. Giving women control works, it works sustainably and long term.

But.

But it deprives society of its main tool to control all aspects of women’s lives. Your reliable producers of the next generation, your unpaid domestic servants and nannies and handholders and caregivers, gradually find other things to do with their lives. Members of the upper caste might have to do their own dishes. Your whole system falls apart.

And therein lies the rub. All our current problems are made much worse by overpopulation. Dealing with that requires treating women like human beings. Which gives the patriarchy the vapors.

So suddenly respect for medieval religions and medieval cultures make it impossible to promote birth control. They might be offended!

There’s not the same action-limiting respect when it comes to things that serve the caste system. Porn is all over the place even though the Pope disapproves. But breastfeeding is too avantgarde for the delicate sensibilities of men on Facebook. Nor is there ever equivalent concern that women object to being erased.

The discrepancy has a name. Sady Doyle wrote about it almost three years ago, Trump, Putin, Assange, and the politics of sexism. Supposedly all three are exponents of radically different systems, and yet they have a lizard brain-level understanding that they’re on the same side. Her focus is social and political effects, but the same allergy to anything kind or well-meaning is everywhere.

Recently, reactionaries have made The Misogyny of Climate Deniers obvious by their revolting comments against a 16 year old who’s done nothing except use the full weight of all the evidence to disagree with them.

The connection has to do with a sense of group identity under threat, … both by developing gender equality—Hultman pointed specifically to the shock some men felt at the #MeToo movement—and now climate activism’s challenge to their way of life, male reactionaries motivated by right-wing nationalism, anti-feminism, and climate denialism increasingly overlap, the three reactions feeding off of one another. … Climate change used to be a bipartisan concern, the first Bush senior presidency famously promising to tackle global warming. But as conservative male mockery of Thunberg and others shows, climate politics has quickly become the next big battle in the culture war—on a global scale.

Misogyny isn’t the only motivation of reactionaries. There’s greed and garden variety hatred in there, too, but misogyny is the core. It’s misogyny, not greed or racism or ordinary hatred, that makes men fear weakness more than anything. And fear of weakness is what ties together the worst of what they do.

They think strong man governments are a good idea. They like guns and “defence” — war, really, so long as somebody else dies in it. Peace is only tolerable “through strength.” The reactionaries are against anything that doesn’t shout big power. They like nukes because gigawatts! dangerous! The truth is that even building a new gigawatt nuke every two months from 2010 till 2050 would solve only a small part of climate change and energy needs. Meanwhile renewables could provide all our energy by 2050 for a fraction of the cost and without radioactive waste. But distributed power, whether that’s rooftop solar or real democracy, strikes reactionaries as la-la limp-wristed hippie crap. Likewise, restraint against environmental destruction is pathetic weakness in the face of hard choices.

And weakness is the worst thing you can show. They (“They”) come and take your man card away. It’s the only thing that gave you any standing and it’s gone.

That is a future so horrible it’s worth burning the world down to avoid it. It must never be spoken lest saying its name calls it forth.

Crossposted from Acid Test.

It looks like you won’t have a problem finding a place to get your feet on the street today…and after today.

#StopTheBans Actions

This Tuesday, May 21st at noon local time at statehouses, town squares, and courthouses across the nation–with other events throughout the week–we will show up to speak out and fight back against this unconstitutional attempt to gut Roe and punish women.

Plan an action or RSVP to one near you now. We’ll send you more information on tips to make the most of your event.

As Our Girl Hillary said at the Women in the World Summit in 2012:

“We need to be as fearless as the women whose stories you have applauded, as committed as the dissidents and the activists you have heard from, as audacious as those who start movements for peace when all seems lost.”

This is an open thread.

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Something really inspiring happened yesterday, Widdershins. It answered a question for me: Why did Cecile Richards, one of the most effective leaders Planned Parenthood has ever had, resign from the organization?

She had to partner with Alicia Garza and Ai-jen Poo to form an exciting new women’s organization, called SuperMajority!!! (Okay, the exclamation points are mine. I am just so excited!) Yes, anyone can join, regardless of gender. You just have to believe in the mission.

In an apparent reference to the #MeToo movement, the organization, which describes itself as multiracial and intergenerational, said that “in the past two years, we’ve seen what happens when women mobilize. But while “women are on the cusp of becoming the most powerful force in America,” Supermajority’s co-founders say that to “fundamentally transform this country” women must work together.

To help further that goal, the group’s leaders say their organization will provide on-the-ground training to help women advocates “get and stay informed on issues that affect their lives,” in addition to creating a “women’s agenda” that will put women’s issues first, “from economic equity and opportunity, to dignity and safety on the job, to keeping families and communities safe.”

While Supermajority’s aim is to push politicians to adopt a “women’s new deal,” as Richards told The Associated Press in a recent interview, the group is not expected to endorse individual candidates.

A “women’s new deal!” Oh, yes, PLEASE!!!

I remember way, way back in our PUMA days, when I suggested that a new Women’s Party should be formed. I wrote:

So let’s review. The Democrats make appropriate noises about women, but don’t follow through when push comes to shove. The Republicans are so backwards as to be laughable.

Isn’t it time we had our own Party, ladies?

I am tired of hearing that the interests of 51% of the population are not important enough to focus on. I am tired of hearing that we should shut up and vote Democrat because they are the lesser of two evils. I am tired of seeing *ssh0les like Obama get away with breaking his promise to pass FOCA first thing and sell out our reproductive rights to pass a bill the Supreme Court will most likely overturn. I am tired of seeing mindless monsters like Jesse Lee Peterson being given airtime by Defenders of the Hateful, Faux News. I am tired of the religiously insane trying to pass laws that will humiliate and kill our sisters.

It will f*cking kill me to vote D on Election Day, even though I won’t be voting for Obama at the top of the ticket. I am frankly weary of the crapulence of the PFKAD. I want a Party that represents women and puts our equality FIRST, that won’t be distracted by the latest shiny object. One Party, one goal: Pass the ERA! Fight for women’s equality in every aspect of our lives. That is what we women need now.

I’m not sure why it’s taken so long for women to wake up. Maybe women got too complacent with Obama at the helm, naively believing their rights would never be threatened again. Maybe we all “knew” that Hillary would win in 2016, so we thought we didn’t need to mobilize separately. But once the giant pile of orange slime slithered his way into the White House, maybe that was the catalyst we needed. The Resistance, MeToo, OnwardTogether…and now this amazing new organization!

After the horrors of the past few years, it seems unbelievable that anything good could come out of our long national nightmare. The latest attack on a temple in San Diego, killing one heroic woman and wounding others, is just one of the many hate crimes inspired by Der Drumpfenfuhrer and his Nazi minions. But maybe if we women (and all genders who support us!) do band together, we can finally turn this country in the direction it so desperately needs to go.

This is an open thread.


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