The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘Womens’ Rights’ Category

Via Elle Magazine: Women who won on November 8, 2017

Good Monday, all. It’s been a while since you’ve heard from me, and I cannot thank Fredster, DYB and GAGal enough for stepping up so wonderfully in my absence. Everything is fine, just working an average of 60-70 hours a week, including Sundays (which, at the moment, means packing for Monday travel again).

Back in the Old PUMA days, many of us struggled with our sense of betrayal by the DNC as we saw them put thumbs, hands and feet on the scale to make it seem like Obama was the favorite of the primary electorate. Even after massively over-weighting caucuses, and making huge states like California and Florida count as “half votes” (a decision much like Bush v. Gore, in that it only applied to Hillary Clinton and was never seen again), the DNC still failed to convincingly eliminate Our Girl the way she would crush Bernie Sanders in 2017 (by 4 million votes). The super delegates switched to Obama, however, making her nomination impossible. This cemented our perception that the DNC had driven the bus over the clear female favorite in order to install their guy. (Remember my radio show with Sheri Tag and other PUMAs, “Not Under the Bus?” Blast from the past!)

One of the reasons I had a bit of a reputation in those days was my advocacy for the 30% solution; in other words, work up to 30% women in government, and the balance will start tilting towards equality. I stated time and again that women needed to take matters into their own hands, wake up and realize that the DNC was not going to do enough to court and promote women for office. I stated also, in pre-Tea Party and Trump days, that Republican women were better than Republican men, and made it clear that I was only going to vote for women until the DNC heard me.

Some of what I said in the original 30% solution post hasn’t aged well. Palin turned out to be a disappointment (to say the least), and McMaverick ended up following his party off the extremist cliff as they became more and more out of touch with reality. And Barack Obama was not unelectable.

This part, unfortunately, was dead on.

If 30% of the Senate and House were women, you can bet your increasingly-less-valuable paycheck that both parties would be feeling a lot more responsible to that constituency. But as it is now, the Democrats have gotten fat and lazy, assuming that we will hand them our votes no matter what they do, resting on their decades-old laurels and doing little or nothing to stop [the] horrendous attack on our reproductive freedoms.

[snip]

[The Democrats]…will continue to be a Party divided on racial and sexual lines; a Party that thinks nothing of an African-American candidate who gains the support of 93% of AA’s by race-baiting, but is fauxraged at women who self-identified with Hillary and now Sarah Palin; a Party destroyed from within by the most divisive and destructive candidate in recent memory.

It’s up to you, Democrats. You can re-commit yourselves to social justice and gender equality, or you can continue on your path towards becoming the New Plutocratic Party. But be prepared to reap what you sow. Remember, pissing off your constituents, then blaming them for not voting for you, is never a good electoral strategy. Giving your constituents what they want, however, works every time.

Flash forward to 2015. The majority President Obama briefly enjoyed was quickly swept away in 2010 by the overwhelming Tea Party reaction to his election, and the Republicans have only gained ground since then. The Democrats have shrugged at the concerns of women and minorities, focusing solely on health care, fixing “the economy” (translation – improving the stock market and creating jobs for highly educated people) and litigating LGBT rights (which I’m happy about of course, but couldn’t they have walked and chewed gum at the same time?). The number of women in Congress has actually decreased, so the ERA remains DOA. And, equal pay for equal work was stripped out of the Lily Ledbetter Act in the Senate, even though Democrats controlled it at the time. This made the Act toothless and once again, left women out of the economic recovery Obama has presided over. And predictably, the number of health care options available for women has deteriorated astonishingly: for so many women in rural America, there’s no place to either get an abortion, or give birth.

Yet still, we failed to learn the lessons of 2008. Still, we put our faith in a Democratic Party hollowed out by the self-centered “leadership” of Barack Obama, tens of millions in debt and without a clear transition plan, electoral strategy or modern infrastructure. Still, we hoped against hope that this time, the Party would support the obvious, clear favorite, that they would empower her candidacy against a Republican Party suffering from its own identity crisis. Still, feminists of all genders, thrilled beyond words by the thought of the first female President, felt that finally, our time had arrived. The Party couldn’t, wouldn’t screw this up again, would it?

Of course it could, and of course it did, by letting a bitter, disingenuous and unelectable candidate exploit the cracks in the Party that Obama had exposed in 2008. Obamabots became BernieBros, and took to Twitter and Facebook to bully and silence Hillary’s supporters, aided and abetted by wingnuts and Russian bots. As before, policy and facts didn’t matter; sexist rants, death threats and abuse became routine for those who dared not bow to the Cult of Sanders. And even now, his toxic effects are being felt. Bernie’s “Unity Commission” recommendations are about to be shared, and they’re the worst ideas ever: more caucuses and open primaries, guaranteed to break the Party even more and expose it to epic Republican ratf*cking.

Yes, the Democratic Party was one of the factors that gave us Drumpf. And finally, ever since the day after Drumpf’s nightmare inauguration, we have been showing that now, we get it. Hat tip to Socalannie for sharing this article: The Glorious Anger of Female Voters, One Year Later.

As recently as the morning of November 8, 2016, I believed, as I think many American women did, that if we only played by the rules, we could rise to the highest positions of power.

[snip]

On November 9, we woke up, and Donald Trump had been elected.

It became clear that you can be the most qualified woman and still lose to the least qualified man.

That was like a spell being broken. All across the land, women woke up and realized we were never going to get where we wanted to go by playing by the rules. Even if you walked the tightrope of acceptable feminine behavior perfectly, even if you managed to sidestep every trap laid for women, you would still never to get to the top. The bar for men was so low they could slither right over it.

And I think something inside us broke. Some dam within so many women that kept them quiet, that kept their anger tucked away, pent up all the times women smile politely when we feel like screaming. That dam burst.

And every furious moment we’d tried not to think about came flooding forth. We were awake, and we were righteously angry.

Being women, and people of all genders who support us, what did we do with that anger? We turned it into action. #TheResistance was born. If the Democratic Party wasn’t going to support the most qualified, admired, exceptional woman in the world, then we weren’t going to waste any more time waiting for it to support us. Instead, we would run for office. We would form our own groups and support outside organizations that trained and supported female candidates. We would support Hillary’s new PAC, Onward Together, and donate to organizations like the ACLU and Planned Parenthood instead of the DNC. We would speak out on Twitter and Facebook. We would stand up to rape culture by demonstrating the scope of the problem through the #MeToo campaign. And most of all, we realized that no one is going to listen if we don’t take control of the conversation.

So in 2017, we gave the Rulez a polite and definite middle finger. Women are running for office and winning at 4 times the usual rate for first-time candidates. Transgender candidates are running and winning. Suburban women are supporting their sisters. And men, more and more, are standing up proudly for equality, sharing their own stories about rape culture, and pledging to stand up to misogyny whenever they see or hear it. What’s happening now is the silver lining starting to shine through the dark clouds storming over our democracy.

I’m going to close this hopeful post with some words from Our Girl on November 8, always and forever our inspiration. We’re finally woke, and we won’t stop until we have the equality we deserve.

Last night, we were reminded what is possible when we come together and fight for what we believe in.

With the support of Onward Together, 40% of the candidates that Run for Something endorsed and supported won their races in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and more — compared to the 10% rate at which first-time candidates usually win. 86 women trained by Emerge America won last night, including nine of the seats flipped in Virginia. Color of Change PAC was instrumental in winning the district attorney race in Philadelphia. And Indivisible groups made more than 600,000 calls into Virginia to help pull out a win for Ralph Northam, Justin Fairfax, and Mark Herring.

This year hasn’t been what any of us had hoped it would be. In fact, it’s been frustrating and, at times, painful. But we never lost faith in our vision of an America where our children and grandchildren can grow up safe and loved, and with every opportunity they deserve.

To those of you who worked your hearts out for these victories, including our friends on the ground in Virginia, New Jersey, and more: thank you. I am so proud to be on your team.

This is an open thread.

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In Brief

Posted on: October 18, 2017

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Hello Widdershins,

My apologies for being an absentee poster. I run out of hours in the day and have no computer at work. Only a very weak signal on my iPhone. But I’m sure the news keeps everyone busy. I’ll be back to my regular schedule in a week!

The worst thing I read all day is Dump’s awful phone call to the widow of slain U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson. After ignoring the 4 American soldiers killed in Niger for weeks (he golfed though), he finally brought himself to call a family. And he told the pregnant Myeshia Johnson: “He knew what he signed up for.” There truly is no end to Trump’s depravity. But we should read the names of the 4 soldiers killed and a hold a moment of silence because our president doesn’t care.

From one kind of depraved to a very different kind of depraved, the story of Harvey Weinstein is continuing to reverberate in the entertainment industry. There are now at least 47 women who have accused Weinstein of harassing or assaulting them. Of the well-known actresses the most recent story comes from Lena Headey, who plays Cersei Lannister on the hit HBO series “Game of Thrones.” The story, of course, is bigger than Weinstein. The singer/actress Björk, who has starred in only one movie, critically acclaimed “Dancer in the Dark,” wrote a letter in which she referenced being abused by a Danish director. Since she only appeared in one film and that film was made by a Dane, the unnamed director is Lars von Trier. Von Trier makes controversial films (I personally detest each and every one of them). In 2011 he stunned the Cannes Film Festival when he announced during a press conference:

“I found out I was actually a Nazi. My family were German. And that also gave me some pleasure. What can I say? I understand Hitler…I sympathize with him a bit.”

Molly Ringwald has also said she’s had “plenty of Harveys of my own.” She says she was first assaulted when she was 13. Reese Witherspoon says she was sexually assaulted by a director when she was 16. And America Ferrera said that she remembers the first time she was assaulted was when she was 9.

On Monday I went out to grab a Starbucks while at work. Crossing the street on 49th St and Park Avenue (a short distance from Grand Central station), I saw an SUV almost run over a young woman. He was backing up against his light and not paying attention. He side-swiped this woman (she was not breaking any laws), and only reason he didn’t actually run her over was because she jumped out of the way in time. So she started yelling to him to watch it, he hit her with his car. This man, big man, in his late 40’s, looked out of the window and said: “Oh did I hit you? Let me see. Where? In the back? Show me. Turn around baby, let me see you from the back.” As she began to turn to show him…she froze. I think all the witnesses did. It became obvious he was literally trying to see her ass. He was sexually harassing woman in the middle of the street that he just literally hit with his car… You could see her face changing as she realized what was happening and that dumbass grinned at her. It was truly breathtaking.

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To make you feel maybe 1% better about all this insanity – there is the story of the immortal Carrie Fisher. After being told by a friend, screenwriter Heather Robinson, that a studio executive sexually assaulted her, Carrie Fisher took matters into her own hands. She personally delivered to the executive a Tiffany box. Inside the box – a cow tongue. And a note: “If you ever touch my darling Heather or any other woman again, the next delivery will be something of yours in a much smaller box.”

And finally, if you follow reporters on social media you may have noticed that a few voices have been oddly missing for several days. New York Times voices. The normally rambunctious Maggie Haberman has been MIA. Glenn Thrush quit twitter altogether. And then we found out why. The bosses have slapped down their on-line behavior. Dean Baquet (a man who has a lot to answer for as far as the 2016 coverage) announced new social media rules for his reporters. And poor Maggie and Glenn, their entire gig is up. The stuff they are best at – snide condescension and sarcasm are discouraged. I think these rules broke Maggie.

So what’s on your mind Widdershins?

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Harvey Weinstein is a very important man in Hollywood. As the co-founder (with his brother Bob) of the film production company Miramax in the 1980s (named after their parents Mira and Max), and then of The Weinstein Company in 2005, they (with Harvey as the real creative force) have produced and/or distributed some of the most recognizable and prestigious films of the past 30 years. The list is extraordinary for just two men from Buffalo: The English Patient, Shakespeare in Love, Cinema Paradiso, The Piano, The Crying Game, Good Will Hunting, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Queen, The King’s Speech, Pulp Fiction and every other Quentin Tarantino movie, Scream, There Will Be Blood, No Country For Old Men, Aviator, Chicago, Muriel’s Wedding, Madonna: Truth or Dare, Amelie, My Left Foot, Vicky Christina Barcelona, Bullets Over Broadway, Clerks, Bridget Jones’ Diary, The Hours, Sling Blade, Life Is Beautiful, Fahrenheit 9/11, Dogma, etc. He also produced Broadway shows like The Producers, The Color Purple, La Cage aux Folles, Bernadette Peters’ Gipsy, The Addams’ Family, Al Pacino’s revival of Glenngary Glen Ross. And one of TV’s most famous shows: Project Runaway.

Look at that list! It’s understandable why this story has become so huge in the news and entertainment industry. Harvey Weinstein is a cultural giant. Whether or not anybody outside of the entertainment industry truly cares is a different matter. The larger story of a powerful man sexually abusing women for decades (famous women to boot) and getting away with it is an important one. Coming on the heels of exposure and falls of Bill Cosby, Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly, Weinstein is another reminder that these men have existed for many years – and continue to exist now. Perhaps Louis CK will be next, who knows. These men exist in every industry, not just entertainment. Does this put the fear of god into any of them? I don’t now… I fear not. Beyond the reaction to Weinstein himself, the reaction to the women has also been shocking. The media’s demand that Hillary Clinton comment, and that Meryl Streep’s comment wasn’t good enough, is a perverse cycle of blaming victims. The story has stopped being about Weinstein abusing women and now it’s more about “what do famous women think about Weinstein abusing women?” It’s sick.

I worked at Miramax back in its heyday of 2000 in a very unimportant position. Shakespeare in Love was in production (code name: Project Plague.The Lord of the Rings (code name: Jumboree) was just a script collecting dust in the closet, soon to be sold to a different studio, though the brothers retained their producer credit. What everybody knew about Harvey then is that he was an awful bully. His emotional, verbal and sometimes physical abuse of employees (throwing things, like a phone or a book) was known to all. In the 1990s Premiere magazine (now gone) published an article about the worst people in the industry to work for. Harvey competed for the top spot with producer Scott Rudin (also producer of some of the best films of the past few decades like Clueless, Regarding Henry and Wonder Boys; as well as huge Broadway shows like The Book of Mormon.) Rudin is gay and I have no doubt there are many demons there which perhaps some day will also land on the front pages of newspapers. But Harvey did more than just produce big movies, he dominated the industry in a way no other film producer had in decades. He inspired awe and fear from other studio heads because of his knack for picking remarkable films and turning Oscar campaigns into both an art form and a brutal contact sport. He was a throwback to the old, golden Hollywood age when studios developed, nurtured and made stars, and then reaped the rewards: people like Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, Gwyneth Paltrow and Quentin Tarantino were synonymous with Miramax, and they owe big parts of their careers to Harvey. Without Weinstein turning Good Will Hunting, Shakespeare in Love and Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction into cultural phenomenons, it’s very likely they would not have turned into the superstars that they are today.

While Harvey’s explosive temper and rage were known by all, his sexual deviancy was better hidden. I had heard jokes about prostitutes. But anything beyond “paid companions” was not widely discussed at the time. So Meryl Streep’s comment that she didn’t know – which so many have attacked her for – is quite credible to me. One must also realize that celebrities – often through no fault of their own – live in a bubble. There are people in their lives who protect them and make sure they are uninformed. One example: One day Ben Affleck came to the office and the producer I was assisting who had an Israeli poster of Good Will Hunting on his wall. The writing was in Hebrew. Affleck said: “Oh that’s so cool! I’ve never seen that!” When he left 20 minutes later all hell broke loose as about 5 assistants spent two days trying to find another copy of that poster. Affleck didn’t now, he didn’t especially want it, but we turned the place upside down looking for another copy of the poster because Ben mentioned in passing that it was cool. Taking care of celebrities this way is an entire industry in entertainment. When I hear about celebrities being difficult I almost don’t blame them. Can you imagine what being treated this way can do to your brain?

As the media descends on the women in the industry, it’s obvious why people like Gwyneth Paltrow didn’t speak out against him in the first place. It wouldn’t just be a matter of telling someone and it’s over. No, look at the way Harvey’s victims are being treated by the press. They are torn to shreds. I wouldn’t have said anything either. Paltrow describes how Weinstein abused her before she became a star and it seems that only the interference of her then-boyfriend Brad Pitt saved her.

When Mr. Weinstein tried to massage her and invited her into the bedroom, she immediately left, she said, and remembers feeling stunned as she drove away. “I thought you were my Uncle Harvey,” she recalled thinking, explaining that she had seen him as a mentor.

After she told Mr. Pitt about the episode, he approached Mr. Weinstein at a theater premiere and told him never to touch Ms. Paltrow again. Mr. Pitt confirmed the account to The Times through a representative.

Soon after, Mr. Weinstein called Ms. Paltrow and berated her for discussing the episode, she said. (She said she also told a few friends, family members and her agent.) “He screamed at me for a long time,” she said, once again fearing she could lose the role in “Emma.” “It was brutal.” But she stood her ground, she said, and insisted that he put the relationship back on professional footing.

Even as Ms. Paltrow became known as the “first lady of Miramax” and won an Oscar for “Shakespeare in Love” in 1999, very few people knew about Mr. Weinstein’s advances. “I was expected to keep the secret,” she said.

Besides Paltrow, other actresses openly accusing Weinstein of assaulting them are Angelina Jolie, Rosanna Arquette, Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan, Mira Sorvino, Asia Argento, among others.

Though she never mentions Weinstein by name, Tori Spelling wrote in her book in 2009 that a refusal to do a nude scene in a Miramax film led to the studio nearly cutting her out of the film altogether, and turning her starring role into a cameo.

It’s also important to note that while the NY Times might claim to have brought Weinstein down (along with a near-contemporary report from The New Yorker, which includes an audio recording of Weinstein harassing an Italian model; Ronan Farrow wrote the story for New Yorker because his bosses at NBC refused to air it), Times are also the paper that helped keep Weinstein in power for so long. They killed a story in 2004 about Weinstein, as detailed by the author of that story and founder of The Wrap, Sharon Waxman.

I also tracked down a woman in London who had been paid off after an unwanted sexual encounter with Weinstein. She was terrified to speak because of her non-disclosure agreement, but at least we had evidence of a pay-off.

The story I reported never ran.

After intense pressure from Weinstein, which included having Matt Damon and Russell Crowe call me directly […] the story was gutted.

I was told at the time that Weinstein had visited the newsroom in person to make his displeasure known. I knew he was a major advertiser in the Times, and that he was a powerful person overall.

But I had the facts, and this was the Times. Right?

Wrong. The story was stripped of any reference to sexual favors or coercion and buried on the inside of the Culture section, an obscure story about Miramax firing an Italian executive. Who cared?

The Times’ then-culture editor Jon Landman, now an editor-at-large for Bloomberg, thought the story was unimportant, asking me why it mattered.

So now the fallout is: Weinstein has been fired from his company. The company just announced that they will have a new name shortly. (And if anybody knew everything – it would have been his brother Bob.) Weinstein’s wife has also announced that she has left him.

There are a lot of powerful people in Hollywood afraid tonight. Hopefully there are a lot of powerful men in all industries taking note of how quickly and how hard they might fall.

What’s on your mind Widdershins?

 

Good Monday, all. It has been another busy, crazy weekend. First things first: we need to keep calling our Senators (and for those of us in blue states, calling Susan and Lisa, as I fondly call them) – to make very, very sure that they don’t pass Graham-Cassidy.

Senator Susan Collins: (202) 224-2523

Senator Lisa Murkowski: (202)-224-6665

You can also call McMaverick: (202) 224-2235

And Brillo Pad Paul: 202-224-4343

As for the rest, where do I even begin? While no one would ever defend the media’s horrific treatment of Our Girl, Hillary Clinton, I will say there is a YUGE challenge in trying to keep up with the non-stop sh*storm our Presnit unleashes every single day. I even heard a couple of women talking about it in the nail salon today, and they were not kind. I’m pretty sure they were Republicans, too, being white, of a certain age, and in Croton-Harmon, Noo Yawk (FYI, I live in the more down-market town slightly north). “Why doesn’t he stay out of private enterprise?” asked one. “Why doesn’t someone take that d*mn phone away from him?” asked the other. Neither one had an answer, but it was clear they were absolutely disgusted. “There’s something so wrong with him,” the first one concluded, shaking her head.

Yes, there is. And to attempt to chronicle the madness would take much more time than your intrepid MB has…so here are some thoughts I have about the latest scandals. It will be a lightning round. Here goes…

There are four defining characteristics of the GOP in the Drumpf era: Corruption, white male rage, narcissism and high crimes and misdemeanors. If I were the media, I would put each scandal into one of those frames to make it easier to digest and understand.

It would look something like this:

Corruption

  • Attempting to remove health care from 32 million Americans so the Kocks and Sheldon Adelson will open their checkbooks and spend hundreds of millions of dollars to get them re-elected
  • Proposing a $1.3 million tax cut for themselves and their friends under the guise of “tax reform”
  • Private jets for Cabinet secretaries
  • Staying at Drumpf properties for 33% of his very short term so far, and continuing to make money from them
  • Refusing to disclose his tax returns
  • Buying fake news ads on social media

White male rage

  • #MAGA
  • Stephen Bannon, Sebastian Gorka, etc. etc. etc.
  • Breitbart and Fox News
  • Condemning black football and basketball players for peacefully protesting racism, while opining there are “very fine” Neo-Nazis and Klansmen after they killed a young woman and two law enforcement officials in Charlottesville
  • Build The Wall
  • Lock Her Up
  • DACA rollback
  • Muslim ban
  • Transgender ban in the military
  • Deportation force
  • Birtherism
  • Not sending aid to Puerto Rico immediately – because they are “brown” American citizens

Narcissism

  • Drumpf’s obsession with (ahem) size
    • Hands
    • Rallies
    • Victory in 2016
  • His need to destroy everything related to any person or institution he lost to at one point (which is, like, a lot of people, because he is a LOSER. Sad!!!!)
  • His need to always claim a win, even though…see above
  • His constant need to be praised, stroked, and told he is the best at everything

High crimes and misdemeanors

  • Russia, Russia, Russia
    • Firing of Sally Yates and James Comey
    • Trump Tower, Moscow
    • Wikileaks
    • DNC hacks
    • Voting database hacks with no acknowledgement and no action to prevent them from happening again
    • “Voting fraud” commission as an excuse to purge more voters from the rolls

I am exhausted! I don’t know how Rachel Maddow does it. I hope I’ve given you enough to talk about today, Widdershins.

This is, as always, an open thread.

Fair warning Widdershins. This post is not for the faint of heart. There will be blood (and the measuring of) and hemorrhages and rouge placentas. Among the myriad of other women’s issues ignored, we have a an inexplicable rise in maternal mortality rates. Or maybe it’s not inexplicable at all – our legislators just don’t care.

C_0ahJNVYAACaOIStudies have shown that the US has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world. This NPR article mostly centers around one woman, but covers the stunning statistics. Lauren (who was a neonatal intensive care nurse) has a normal delivery and a few hours later is dead from a pretty common condition. Preeclampsia. They paid little attention to her dangerously rising blood pressure. When she complained of pain in the upper abdomen, they gave her an antacid. Her death could have been prevented with only an anti-hypertensive drug and magnesium sulfate. That’s just one woman with one condition. We’re woefully behind. (my bold)

American women are more than three times as likely as Canadian women to die in the maternal period (defined by the Centers for Disease Control as the start of pregnancy to one year after delivery or termination), six times as likely to die as Scandinavians. In every other wealthy country, and many less affluent ones, maternal mortality rates have been falling; in Great Britain, the journal Lancet recently noted, the rate has declined so dramatically that “a man is more likely to die while his partner is pregnant than she is.” But in the U.S., maternal deaths increased from 2000 to 2014. In a recent analysis by the CDC Foundation, nearly 60 percent of such deaths are preventable.

It’s a long article and a lot of it is about Lauren’s personal history and her husband’s reaction. But it covers many issues. While infant mortality has fallen, maternal deaths are soaring. This can no longer be ignored. There is hope. California (naturally) is leading the way. California decided it was tired of women bleeding to death during childbirth.

Dr David Legrew was mostly concerned with deaths from hemorrhaging, especially prevalent in women who had C-sections in previous deliveries. But it doesn’t take a genius to know birthing centers should be equipped with emergency items. A “hemorrhage toolkit”.

One key idea in the hemorrhage toolkit was to make sure hospitals were armed with all the best protocols and necessary tools that might save those moms’ lives in the event of a bleed.

At St. Joseph hospital, Lagrew showed me a simple beige, waist-high rolling cart with four drawers and red handles, known as “the hemorrhage cart.” Every hospital delivering babies should have one, the CMQCC toolkit says. The cart is filled with everything to manage a hemorrhage: medicines that slow the flow of blood, instruments that repair a tear or laceration, intrauterine balloons that can provide pressure and control bleeding from a uterus that isn’t contracting well.

“Minutes count, so you can’t afford to be thinking, ‘Hey, what med do I need to use next? Where do I find a balloon catheter to stop the bleed?’” Lagrew says.

Is that too much to ask? Better training and having what you need at hand?

I don’t think anyone will be surprised that the rates of death are much higher in Texas. I don’t think anyone will be surprised it’s 3Xs higher for black women. In fact, one study DFsMEjLVoAErtfOhad to separate Texas from their study because it skewed the results so badly. What do you expect from a state that defunds PP, closes PP and other abortion clinics, enacts restrictive abortion laws and refuses to expand Medicaid? (Like my own state)

A University of Maryland study released last year showed the mortality rate had doubled from 2010 to 2012. Plus this:

There were some changes in the provision of women’s health services in Texas from 2011 to 2015, including the closing of several women’s health clinics. Still, in the absence of war, natural disaster, or severe economic upheaval, the doubling of a mortality ratewithin a 2-year period in a state with almost 400,000 annual births seems unlikely. A future study will examine Texas data by race–ethnicity and detailed causes of death to better understand this unusual finding.

I wouldn’t normally link to a local (Texas) TV station (in fact the video is worthless), but I did want to share this:

State Rep. Shawn Thierry sought to look into one particularly disturbing trend that the Texas task force had found: Black women make up 11 percent of births, but 28 percent of death. Thierry, a Democrat from Houston, wanted to compare the risk of black women in different income brackets.

But Thierry’s bill – which was backed by the Texas Medical Association and American Heart Association – died along with a parade of other proposals after tea party-backed lawmakers, protesting a lack of movement of their own pet issues, used a House procedural maneuver to kill every bill on a legislative calendar that wasn’t supposed to generate debate.

“We haven’t done enough,” Thierry said.

And did I mention that this year’s session has ended so lawmakers will have to wait until they reconvene in 2019 to address the issue. What?! WTH Texas? Well, I’m sure they will eventually get around to it little ladies.

So let’s take inventory. All over the country, states are defunding and closing Planned Parenthood and other clinics, passing anti-abortion laws, trying to pass legislation so no employer has to provide insurance to cover birth control, hoping to remove pre-natal, neo-natal, etc. care from insurance policies (now guaranteed by the ACA). I’m sure I’m forgetting a few things. Help me out.

I’d just like to ask them – if you’re going to force women to have more children and brush off maternal deaths, who in the hell do you think will raise the children? These people are exhausting.

I don’t want to go too long, so I’ll add some other thoughts and links in the comments.

Open thread. (otherwise known as ‘what fresh hell did we wake up to today?’)

Good Monday, all. Today is the first day of the last few months of Donald Trump’s Presidency. After all, he’s brought in a general to be his Chief of Staff, same as Nixon, and the conservo-rats are deserting his sinking ship. As the spectacular failure of the Wealth Transfer Bill made clear, the Senate can defy the Rancid Cheeto without any real consequences…and, the Rancid Cheeto is going to be no help to their agenda whatsoever. What will happen now? I don’t know, but while we wait for the next giant flameout, I thought we could spend some time connecting the dots.

The ongoing fight between the Bernie and Hillary wings of the Party is not about re-living the primaries, despite what the Bernie Bots would say on Twitter. It’s about looking to the future and figuring out the way forward for the Democrats. It IS important to have both the message, and the messaging, correct, so people know they’re not just voting against something, but FOR a positive vision of America.

In order to make this happen, we have to make sure that all Americans understand the connection between a racist, sexist and xenophobic campaign, and a country going in the wrong direction. From the Bernie cultists, and unfortunately from some members of the DNC, we hear that we need to appeal to the white working-class male voter with a strong economic message. The problem with this is, that it’s no different from the Republican approach.

Yes, you heard me right.

Make America Great Again is a white-people-only slogan, based on bringing the Fake 50s back to the US – a decade of great prosperity and segregation. Coal jobs, union jobs, they would be coming back under him – and all those “bad hombres” who have been taking those jobs away would be sent back to Mexico. He added to his racist cred by announcing that Mexicans are rapists, outing himself as a sexual predator, and being endorsed by white supremacists and having Steve Bannon as his senior campaign adviser. White people claimed they didn’t care, because all of these “identity politics” didn’t matter. But “identity politics” were really what energized all those white people to come out and vote for him. Nothing else mattered so much as race to the Trump voter.

And what happened when Drumpf came into office? He started advocating for policies to do exactly what he promised. Mass deportations. Known racist Jeff Sessions at the helm of the Justice department. True to his misogynistic ways, pushes to defund Planned Parenthood. Trying to overturn the freedoms and rights Obama granted to LGBTQ. And all his promises about bringing coal jobs back? Yeah, not so much.

What would happen if Democrats really decided to chase the white male vote, and decried “identity politics” as unimportant?  What message are they sending to everyone who isn’t white and male, who, not so coincidentally, votes Democratic? With all of these white men jockeying to run for the Presidency, two of them in their 70s, I find it very hard to believe that they will prioritize any of the things that matter to me…just as Barack Obama, who ran on misogyny, didn’t prioritize gender equality.

What we project matters. What we say matters. And visuals, they matter. And I am personally so very, very tired and sick of hearing and seeing “f*ck you” from the Democratic Party, a Party still, shamefully, disproportionately white and male. This is why Bernie Sanders held absolutely no appeal to me. He and his followers routinely dismissed the things I cared about, and mansplained that we were all too dumb to understand #TheBernout’s greatness and vast superiority over HRC. And of course, if we protested, we were playing “identity politics.” Well, yes. We want an equal seat at the table, and we’re tired of asking nicely.

So the Resistance you’re counting on to save your sorry butts and stop the evil Republican agenda, and vote for you in 2018? We’re women. And you won’t ignore us any more.

We’re awake now, and we’re paying attention.

This is an open thread.

 


Good Monday, all. There’s a lot going on, and most of it not good, as usual, these days. The new bootlicker Drumpf has hired to represent him on teevee is typical of all his stooges: narcissistic, greedy (h/t Prolix!), and intimately tied to Russia. He’s dangling lots of fake news in front of the cable news media, and they’re all lapping it up. Drumpf still doesn’t believe Russia attacked our elections!! (Of course he does, idiots. He and his campaign helped make it happen.) He’s looking into pardoning himself!! (Of course he is. That doesn’t mean he’ll do it, for heaven’s sake. He knows he’s going to get caught, and is looking for ways to evade the consequences, just the way he always does.)

Meanwhile, some Democrats are buying into stupidity of their own. Such as, “Hillary lost ‘the Obama coalition’ to Drumpf!!! ZOMG we have to chase those 70,000 switchers in swing states with a strong economic message!” Do old white guys like Chuck Schumer never get tired of mansplaining to women?

Apparently the fact that Nate Silver, expert pollster, agrees with Hillary’s analysis of why she lost, has failed to penetrate. And, apparently the fact that the Resistance is female, and the base of the Democratic Party is female AND of color, is immaterial to Chuck and his fellow mansplainers.

Someone please tell me this: how is it a good strategy to target only a few white men by focusing on an economic message that is proven to be irrelevant, and ignore the giant mass of women that is active, energized and ready to vote, and run, as Democrats?

Like this woman.

In Prince William County, Hala Ayala is hoping to bring her values of empowerment for women and equality for all to Richmond, and at the same time, send home one of Virginia’s leading anti-choice, anti-immigrant delegates.

Ayala has long been involved in local politics. She volunteered for President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012. And in 2014, she helped revive the National Organization for Women (NOW) chapter in her community, becoming its president.

Now THAT is the Obama coalition, you jack*sasses!

The Democrats would be much, much better off energizing its base with a sharper version of Hillary’s message, than losing its principles by trying to gain the voters who want to go back to the fake 50’s in their heads.

Hala Ayala is doing something. And we should too. Forget the Democratic Establishment. The more we Do Something, the more they will get the message.

So let’s go to marches. Let’s form groups. Let’s donate to Planned Parenthood and the ACLU. Let’s call our Senators and attend Town Halls.

It’s all working. Let’s stick with it!

This is an open thread.

 

 


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Blog Archive

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Kellyanne Conway’s new job

So similar

Take the kids to work? NO!

3 turds control fate of healthcare for millions

That moment when *your* pussy gets grabbed

You go gurl! h/t Adam Joseph

***Disaster Donations***

Quick links for donations.

Donations for our furry, and other critter friends:

Texas SPCA Donate Page

Houston TX SPCA Donation Page

Red Rover Group

For the Virgin Islands (Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands)
CFVI.net

All Hands Disaster Relief:
https://www.hands.org/

Puerto Rico’s First Lady’s organization:
http://unidosporpuertorico.com/en/

Americares (provides medical/health support)
http://www.americares.org/en/

“The” Book

Nice picture of our gal

Time till the Grifter in Chief is Gone

Hopefully soonerJanuary 21st, 2021
3.2 years to go.

Mueller Time!

Wise Words from Paul Ryan

Heroine of the Resistance

B-I-N-G-O!

PHONE CONTACT INFO FOR THE DNC:

202-863-8000

TELL PEREZ AND ELLISON HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT BRAZILE NUT!

Storify version of E. Rogers HVF explanation