The GOP War On The Year Of The Woman

In what some (including me) are calling “The Year Of The Woman”, which is also an election year, the GOP is throwing everything they’ve got at what they perceive as the poor defenseless females.

Why on earth—did I say this is an election year?—what they be doing this? Witness these assaults:

Rush Limbaugh calls an average young woman both a slut and prostitute on his national radio show. And the hits just keep on coming.

The attempt in Virginia to push transvaginal ultrasound probes up a pregnant woman’s woo-woo.

The Blunt Amendment which would allowed employers to not cover birth control services and medications in their health plans if it offended their moral or religious sensibilities (corporations are people too, my friend).

The Tennessee anti-abortion bill that would make public everything an anti-abortion terrorist would need to know about where to find the evil doctor and patient who committed the dastardly act.

The Arizona anti-birth control bill—sponsored by a Republican woman legislator who obviously loathes herself for being a Repubican woman legislator and is taking it out on others of her gender—would force female employees to prove to their bosses that they need contraception for medical conditions. The men’s version of this legislation is surely to follow anon.

These are just the ones that quickly come to mind; the nation is awash right now in Republican introduced and passed legislation that tells women their bodies are not their own but belong to the Man—literally.

So, this raises the question-did I mention that this is an election year?—why is the GOP placing women’s rights in a killzone when it’s women who will determine who will be (re-)elected President this year? I mean, if you’re running for Homecoming Queen, do you tell all the girls to vote for you because they’re too ugly to win anyway? If you’re competing to become a cooking show star, do you tell the judges that they’re not competent to judge the imaginary food at your 5-year-old daughter’s tea party? If you’re Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, or Ron Paul and you’re running for President, do you tell women that not only abortion but birth control itself is immoral and shouldn’t be paid for by federal tax dollars? You say that to a group making up over 50% of the electorate? Women both register to vote and actually vote in larger numbers than men.

In other words, in all these situations, do you piss off the very people you need to vote you into the job you want? For Republicans, the answer to this question is an emphatic yes. But why? This is obviously a nationally coordinated attack on women because there aren’t enough smart Republicans in all those states to come with bills like these on their own. This hasn’t been confirmed, but if I shine the special secret fluorescent light on all this legislation, the fingerprints of ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) are all over it because ALEC’s stock in trade is setting the national agenda for the Republican Party to be implemented at the state level. But, and I repeat—why?

One theory is that the Republicans see this as The Year Of The Republican Party since they’ve worked so hard to foster hatred and dissent against everything that is President Obama, including President Obama himself. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told the American public that holding Obama to a single term is Job One for the Republicans. He doesn’t want to be made out a liar in public, does he? That would tend to make the American Public mistrust anything and everything a Republican says. His old Kentucky home might not even re-elect him next time around.

In this Year Of The Republican Party, goes this theory, they see this year as their best shot to recapture The White House and get all this women’s rights-trampling legislation enacted into law. They’re betting their entire wad on one roll of the dice. It’s “Guys and Dolls” time and the Party is Sky Masterson.

Problem is, the dice are loaded. At this point in the Republican Presidential Candidate Comedy Cavalcade, NO ONE likes ANY of the candidates. Mitt Romney remains the front runner, a position he’s doing his damnedest to lose. Rick Santorum is like a runner attempting to use “drafting” to stay right in back of Romney in a track race, only someone (like himself) keeps moving the finish line further away from him. The remaining two are like punch-drunk prizefighters out on their feet but not yet fallen to the canvas for the down and out count.

So, this is the War Of The Year Of The Republican Party Against The Year Of The Woman. The casualties are mounting on the Republican side, mainly because they didn’t figure on The Woman forming a coalition with the Democrats and Independents. Do provide support for the Woman’s side in this War, we might have to dust off the old Southeast Asia Domino Theory that was employed to sell the Vietnam War.  If we allow women’s rights to fall, it will be followed by the fall of everyone’s rights to government-funded medical care, Social Security, unemployment benefits, education, environmental regulation, fraud protection, voter protection, civil rights protection—a whole bunch of protections.

Women’s rights is the beach head the Republicans have chosen to land on and attempt to secure. It’s a good thing they always get their history wrong. They’re not the Allied Forces, and women are not the Third Reich. If anything, it’s the other way around.

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Rush Limbaugh: That’s Entertainment!

I like what Rush Limbaugh had to say about Sandra Fluke.  I like that Rush Limbaugh is on 600 radio stations and the Armed Forces Radio Network. I like what Rush Limbaugh had to say about Sandra Fluke on 600 radio stations and the Armed Forces Radio Network and was heard by over 20 million people and his roster of sponsors.  I like all this because over 20 million people and his roster of sponsors all found out what the rest of us knew already: Rush Limbaugh is a bully. Rush Limbaugh is a bigot. Rush Limbaugh is sexist. Rush Limbaugh is overpaid and way past his prime.  And despite the wise counsel of that great Catholic Rick Santorum, Rush Limbaugh is no entertainer.

Rush Limbaugh is not paid to entertain. He is paid to communicate the Republican talking points for the day and for as long as they order him to repeat them. What Limbaugh says on his Monday show will be repeated on every Fox TV and radio propaganda show that night and forever after. From Limbaugh’s mouth to Sean Hannity’s, Steve Ducey’s, Gretchen Carlson’s Laura Ingraham’s, and Mark Levin’s ears, goes round and round and comes out their mouths. It cannot be called “entertainment” if the garbage and untruths spouted on the Limbaugh show are repeated on Fox “news” and commentary shows. Bill O’Reilly considers himself a newsman with his long, long, long, long ago news background and not an entertainer. He can be heard parroting Rushisms. So does that make O’Reilly indeed an entertainer or does it make Limbaugh a newsmaker?

Limbaugh is paid to be an attack dog for the Republican Party. His attack on Fluke was a contract hit. The joke on the Republicans is that he would have done it for free.

Limbaugh calling a female law student “slut” and “prostitute” and demanding to watch her have sex online so he could savor every detail his tax dollars paid for? Now THAT’S entertainment! Or at least it is to Rick Santorum, who’s campaign needs our prayers since it’s on life support and the prognosis is not good. For Rick Santorum has deemed Rush Limbaugh an entertainer.

It must be a Catholic thing because at this time 12 sponsors and 2 radio stations have said, “No, not so much”, pulling advertising from his show and his show from their airwaves.

If an entertainer’s show broadcasts in a vacuum and nobody hears, does it still make an impact? Remember Ross Perot’s “giant sucking sound”? This is what everybody will hear instead after Limbaugh’s show is cancelled. For years his show has served as the official mouthpiece of the Republican Party and when the show is gone, the “rush” will be on to fill the considerable, big fat void left by Rush Limbaugh.

Watching the firestorm of hostility fanned by the anger of both women and men, the sponsors and radio stations feeling the hot heat from the Limbaugh potato and dropping him? Rush Limbaugh’s career imploding as we watch? Now—THAT’S entertainment!

The Year Of The Woman Voter

I just got it.  I just got why the Republicans in Congress have made this the Year of the Attack on Women.

Women are scary creatures to men. Whether you’re in jr. high school or a dance club in Hollywood, a man has to walk up to a woman to ask her to dance.  All the while he’s wondering how he’ll hide his embarrassment if she says no.

During sex, a man has to enter a woman. As soon as he is inside that magic portal, she is in full control. And at the moment of ejaculation, he delivers all he is to her.  For that one instant, he is wide open, helpless, vulnerable, under her total control. Republicans don’t like to be wide open, helpless, vulnerable, under total control to anyone, especially a woman. In fact, they are threatened by this. Although they might allow themselves to be under the control of a very wealthy woman who funds their campaign.  Feeling threatened has its price, after all.

This is what is fueling the wave upon wave of Republican-sponsored bills trying to wrest control of women’s bodies away from women. How best to remove the threat that women present to Republican men than to take control of the very bodies that control them? So, Republican men have decided THEY want to be in control purse strings when it comes for paying for women’s birth control. THEY want to be in control of approving or denying abortions. When a woman has to come to a Republican man to beg for the right of control over her body, it kind of makes up for her refusing to dance with him back in jr. high.

Another reason why Republican men fear women is that 41% of them identify themselves as Democrats. So Republican men look out over the political landscape and see that almost half of those scary vaginas are Democratic vaginas. Now the panic attacks start to set in.

Of course, none of this explains why some Republican women support the efforts of Republican men to take control of their bodies away. Well, why do some women continue to live with the men who physically abuse them and refuse to press charges against them? I can’t explain that either but it just may be a Republican thing.  Some would say it’s a religious issue, but with the present Republican Party politics and religion have been intertwined and inextricably linked together.

This past week, only one woman Republican, Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, voted against the defeated Blunt Amendment, a bill that would have given employers a way out of covering any health care they disagreed with on “moral” or “religious” grounds in their health plans. By the way, Sen. Snowe is saying “adios” to the Senate this year perhaps because she is only interested in controlling her own body and not other women’s.

Three Republican Senators in Democratic clothing voted for the amendment. This is all I shall say about them.

If all this assaulting on women’s rights wasn’t enough to get women up and angry this year, providence delivered to the Democrats boys for the recruiting posters: Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Russ Limbaugh. Romney merely supported the Blunt Amendment. Santorum says the devil is hiding inside a women’s vagina and that’s why a good Catholic President is our only defense against the dark side. But Rush Limbaugh…Limbaugh took the fight against women to where no man has gone before. He parked his hulking expanse behind his microphone and during his radio show, with both hands firmly on his huge cigar, verbally beat up a woman. A young, single woman. A young, single woman who’s a law student. And probably a Democrat.

After Limbaugh opened up his mouth, the heavens filled with the wrath and outrage of American women opened up and poured down upon him. What Limbaugh forgot is that women talk to each other. A lot. Women talk to each other and they make plans. They make plans to do things together. Plans like…changing party affiliations to vote Democratic in a national general election.  Plans like…going down to the polls together to vote Democratic or throwing a party to fill out their absentee ballots together.

What is the sound of American women standing up in unison against the Republican men who would have these women kneeling before them? It’s the sound of the Republican men’s knees slapping together in fear. A woman lying in bed in front of you can be scary enough. But standing up in defiance? Republican men’s entire legs are knocking against each other now.

According to the Chinese calendar, this is the Year of the Dragon. Uh uh, unless the he dragon is a she dragon. And the Year of the Attack On Women may be over. For this new year is very much shaping up to be the Year Of The Woman Voter when women flex their muscles in the voting booth, and it may be the Republicans who will be draggin’ their asses out of Congress.

Vatican Street

I’m not the first one to ask this but, if life begins at conception shouldn’t pregnant women be allowed to use the carpool lane? Zygotes are people too, my friend. Currently, the Virginia legislature is trying to push through ultrasound vaginal probes that could tell if a new, burgeoning lifeform is indeed inhabiting her inner sanctum. If that law passes, it could conceivably happen that a state trooper, suspecting a lone female driving in the carpool lane of breaking the law, could pull her over and right there by the side of road insert an ultrasound vaginal probe up her Volvo to confirm whether or not she had a bun in the oven.

Is this the country we want to become? Why is it that Republican men are so insistent upon checking to see if a woman is pregnant and on banning abortions to make sure that she is?  Virginia is turning so far to the right that they’re working on banning all prophylactic care so that both condoms and dentistry would be outlawed in the state.

Is this what Jesus would have wanted? This would be the place for me to insert a biblical quote, but never having read the Bible I have to settle for some of Jeffrey Hunter’s dialogue in “King of Kings”. Nope, sorry, it was John the Baptist, played by that great underrated actor Robert Ryan: “Woman, is not your cup of abominations full enough?” In other words—come on, sister! First you want the vote, then the right to smoke in public, then equal pay for equal work, and now you want sovereign power over your own body? You’re really beginning to piss Jesus off, here!”

What I don’t understand is Republican women who meekly raise their hand and softly whisper, “Please, sir, I don’t want sovereign power over my own body if you please, sir” just before they cast their vote for Rick Santorum.  Maybe like Mitt Romney’s father, George, they’ve been brainwashed, but this time by the Roman Catholic Church, to believe their bodies are merely vessels to serve at the pleasure of God’s will, as interpreted by Rick Santorum and the Republicans. I can see no other explanation.

But to complicate things further, the Catholic Church endorses the use of Viagra. In fact it’s paid for by the Church health plans. This is indeed curious. Why would the Church cover the costs for clergy who have sworn a vow of celibacy who work around young altar boys all day? Perhaps for a man a vow of celibacy exerts a strain on the heart increasing blood pressure? Viagra did start out as blood pressure medicine until a unique and unexpected side effect was discovered. Now with one medication, men can have a soft aorta and a hard penis at the same time. But we’re back to the question of why a single priest living alone in his cell would need a hard penis?

And there is yet another question to be answered. If the Church is dead set against contraception and abortion, why would it embrace Viagra? Unless it views a man with a flaccid penis as another form of birth control, which is against God’s will. But if it was God that made this flaccid penis, isn’t it God’s way of ensuring sperm will not meet egg, which after all is what birth control is all about? I mean, it’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a limp noodle.

So, it would seem to be that the Church signing off on Viagra would fly in the face of the word of God, as spoken by Rick Santorum and the Republicans. One would begin to think that the Roman Catholic Church has been set up like Bain Capital, Mitt Romney’s old stomping grounds. Hundreds of millions of men worldwide have been sent out merge with women who accept their IPO (Internal Penile Offering).  The women essentially become the holding company that issues the little dividends nine months later. The Church collects its percentage off the top every Sunday as all its subcontractors, I mean, parishioners, take a much-deserved day off as they attend the weekly corporate meeting.

So, we’ve finally come to what it’s actually all about. It’s about passing the plate and then passing on the genetic code just so the Roman Catholic Church can maintain a steady return on its 2000 year old capital investment. It’s the money, stupid.

The Whoosh Sound

The Obama campaign strategy has just come into sharp focus. Following on the heels of a bill the President just signed that drastically cuts the number of weeks federal unemployment benefits can be collected comes the announcement that Obama plans to cut the top corporate effective tax rate to 25%. Although he claims this is part of a greater tax code overhaul which will close many business tax loopholes, cutting the tax rate flies in the face of advice given by prominent economists such as Paul Krugman and Robert Reich to raise them. These tax changes will further motivate corporations to bring overseas jobs back here, according to the President’s claim.  But what he doesn’t explain is how those jobs can be brought back here with a pay scale that won’t exceed what the Chinese were being paid.  To pay Americans more would boost the cost of the manufactured goods beyond what the unemployed who just ran out of unemployment benefits can afford.

The Obama team claims the tax overhaul will bring in an additional $250 billion in tax revenues, if we’re willing to wait 10 years to collect it all. These tax changes will further motivate corporations to bring overseas jobs back here.  By that time Obama will have been retired from the White House and making a lucrative living from speaking tours and book sales. Whichever presidents follow him into office can do whatever the want to the tax code which could render the anticipated $250 billion just another phantom of an unfilled campaign promise. But the tax benefits to corporations are immediate and that’s how quickly his SuperPac will start collecting their campaign contributions. (Have you ever noticed how all presidents are fond of predicting outcomes that will happen during someone else’s presidency? But I digress.)

Obama has clearly kicked the 99% to the curb. He knows he’s got his base locked in on the social issues because they’ve got nowhere else to go. So now he’s looking to cut his opposition off at the knees. Moderate Republicans are turned off to the crop of clowns they’ve been offered. The clowns’ stances on the social issues are no laughing matter, despite their large floppy clown shoes. So Obama needs to woo these moderates on their bread and butter economic issues: make unemployment harder to get and for a shorter amount of time, and back off on those high corporate taxes which are strangling the job creators. After the President wins both the social and economic debates, the clowns, despite their large floppy clown shoes, will fall flat on their collective face.

It’s a brilliant if cynical campaign strategy. The difference between Obama and Romney is that Obama can tell a crowd what it wants to hear with believable sincerity. I think that both Obama and Santorum are sincere in their religious beliefs, but Obama’s are grounded in reality and if he ever spoke of inserting an ultrasound vaginal probe up into a woman’s private parts, Michelle would whomp him upside the head with the Lincoln cast iron skillet.

But Obama’s message to the 99% is once again, “I gotta go meet with the money people now. See ya later.” And the 99% have no choice but to respond back, “OK. See ya…”  That whoosh sound you just heard is Obama turning his back on them.

Rick Santorum, The Ludicrous Fringe Candidate

The slanted lips of the media are all frothing over the Rick Santorum “surge”, to quote those lips. Four national polls of “likely Republican voters” now place him ahead of Mitt Romney.  And the media buildup of his candidacy continues. This  morning, NPR made passing reference to Occupy protests at one of his appearances in Tacoma, Washington, but devoted a full story to the lovefest that greeted him in the archly-conservative conclave of Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. MSNBC had their regular cast of pundits punditing over how Santorum’s base is comprised of Tea Party, Evangelical, and blue collar Republicans.

What almost no one is talking about is that 54% of Republicans state they aren’t likely to vote for ANY of the candidates being offered to them. In fact, in every primary so far, Republicans have stayed away from the polls in droves. Every one of these pundits is probably told to address the particular issue of the segment and to not stray from its restricted boundaries. So all we get is talk about how Romney still leads overall but Santorum seems to be gaining momentum.

What remains unspoken and is the giant elephant in Santorum’s war room is this: nationally, almost no one will vote for him. He is not only a ludicrous candidate for President, his base is the far right religious fringe. Rick Santorum is the Ludicrous Fringe Republican Presidential candidate. He’s got the far right religious fringe sewn up, that’s it.  At most they may account for no more than 30% of the total electorate. 30% doesn’t win you a nomination and certainly doesn’t win the presidency. Democratic and Republican women voters loathe Santorum because he wants to take their rights to contraception and abortion away by federal and holy decree. He hates working woman, feeling they have destroyed the Republican illusion of the happy two parent, two children home. He also has a thing for bestiality, but that will be set aside for another day. If you fail to capture the women’s vote, you don’t get elected prom queen, let alone President of the United States.

The fact that Santorum actually thinks he can win is proof that he’s unfit for any public office because his judgment is delusional. The truth is that this is a guy whose ideas are shared by the aforementioned fringe who see the face of Jesus Christ in their high fructose-corn-imitation-maple syrup on their morning waffles and that God spoke personally to Jesus, the Pope, Martin Luther, and tens of others giving them the word that abortion, Trojans, and the morning after pill pisses him off something fierce so no one should be allowed to have them. Someone forgot to tell them Santorum’s wife had an abortion in 2006. Must have gotten a special dispensation direct from God, I suppose.

This is Santorum’s base.  The Fringe hangs on old leather buckskin vests and jackets. It does not elect Presidents.

The Ant Farm

Repugnant-cons have been like an ant farm; all the worker ants walking up and down the line like good obedient mindless worker ants carrying out the orders of the high priest ant Fox (and Limbaugh and Rove but that carries my analogy too far afield) with the soldier ants keeping them in line. Obama’s election was like a giant shoe stepping on the entrance to the ant farm and sending all the little mindless worker ants scurrying around in confusion and panic. They’ve lost their Red Queen Ant and are desperately searching for her. Mitt Romney called out “Hey, I’m over here.”  Michele Bachmann shouted from her corner “No, I’m over here—and I’m female.” Rick Perry drawled “I’m the Queen that’s kept y’all all employed.” Ron Paul squeaked “If I were your queen you wouldn’t have to obey anything I ordered you to do.” Rick Santorum firmly stated “I am NOT a queen but I sure like being surrounded by all these soldier ants.” Newt Gingrich spread his feelers in an all-encompassing gesture and proclaimed “I am not the queen of this ant farm—I AM the ant farm!” There were other pretenders to the throne who quickly devoured themselves before they could claim much of anything.

ut the ants could tell by the smell of each pretender to the throne that none of the queen ant candidates were the actual queen. But they dimly recalled that though they were a colony of red ants, their Queen Ant was black. They then remembered that the fear of an ant queen a different color from them had caused them all to panic.  They were afraid that there panic had carried them so far away they would never find their way home since there was no one to lead the way. They kept running from queen ant pretender to queen ant pretender but none of them smelled right. The ants as a group crystallized this single thought: “We’re on our own.”

They then heard voices shouting to them from the entrance to the ant farm. It was a small group of black ants calling to them “Hey—what the hell you doing out there? All the work’s in here, guys!” The red ant who was closest to the pack of black ants said, “Are you kidding? You’re black ants. You’re smaller than us and you don’t sting. You’re wimps.” The leader of the black ants replied, “Oh yeah? There are more of us than you. Besides, we’ve been stung for years; it doesn’t affect us anymore. But why are we even arguing—we’re all ants!”

The red ant thought for several minutes while digesting what he had just heard. “So,” he finally said, “what’s your point?”

The black ant, knowing the dim brain power of the red ant he was dealing with, sighed heavily and replied, “We should join forces. Look, our queen ant is one of us but not really one of us, if you know what I mean.”

The red ant smiled knowingly and nodded his head and said, “No, no I don’t.”

The black ant sighed even harder and tried again. “OK, try to stay with me. Here we all are walking back and forth in a straight line all day long every day every week for our entire lives, carrying food to the latest queen who then has a crapload of kids and one of them becomes the new queen. None of us ever gets to become queen. In fact, we never get anything out of anything we do all day long every day every week for our entire lives. Doesn’t seem quite fair, does it?”

The black ant could see a flicker of understanding in the twitch of the red ant’s antennae so he pushed forward. “We heard all those jokers out there claiming to be queen—we could smell them from here. Like it or not, one of our guys is queen but he’s only got another four years to go till one of his kids takes over.  What we’re saying is this: we join forces—there’s strength in numbers, my friend. Before the kid mounts the throne, we grab the big chair and WE run the ant farm for once. And for once—we ALL share in the spoils and fruits of our labor! We should walk wherever we want to. No more straight lines.”

“We run it together, you mean?” asked the red ant.

“Not so much ‘we” as ‘me’. Look, I’m a black ant who can think logically and plan a peaceful revolution. Anyone on your side able to do that?” asked the black ant.

The red ant looked confused. “What does ‘think’ mean?”

“Forget about it before you hurt yourself.” The black ant looked at the red horde gathered in front of his small group, smiled and called out, “So are you all with us? Are you ready to take our ant farm back?”

A red ant in the middle of the horde shouted out, “We don’t know. Where’s Fox? He would tell us what to do.”

The black ant, thinking quickly, shouted out, “I’m Fox. That’s me—Fox. And I say listen to that black ant. He’s never steered you wrong before!”

The red ants all murmured among themselves in agreement.  The black ant then rose up on his four hind legs and after a suitably dramatic pause, waved a top leg and shouted, “C’mon, men!”

“And women,” said a female red ant.

“And women!” the black ant called. “We’ll lay a pheromone trail that you can follow back to the sugar mines. And repeat after me: no more straight lines!”

All the red ants gathered together; their non-battle cry lifting as one great voice into the air and hovering above them.  “No more straight lines!” they cheered as they marched back into the ant farm in single file. And four years later everything the black ant said came true exactly as he had predicted.  Except for one thing.

When the throne was taken from the new black queen ant, the black ant leader suffered a hernia helping to move it to its new home at the Western Ant Farm. Being too injured to rule, his wife took his place on the throne. And so Queen Elizabeth became the first truly female queen ant to rule the newly-liberated ant farm. She had a good sense of humor but could never tell a joke. Now that ants were free to walk anywhere they wanted, no one could hand her a straight line.