Sunday, February 27, 2011

War on XX, redux redux

Just in case the outstandingly (good and bad) events in WI have taken your eyes off the criminals in Washington, a quick overview courtesy of the New York Times might be in order.

Besides the gobsmackng stupidity at a variety of state levels, we have the budget bill pushed through the the House last saturday which contained:

  • Defunding of Planned Parenthood
  • The elimination of support for Title X, the federal family planning program for low-income women that provides birth control, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and testing for H.I.V. and other sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Slash support for international Family Planning, reimposing the odious global “gag” rule, which forbids giving federal money to any group that even talks about abortions.
  • Cut by 10 percent the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, better known as WIC, which serves 9.6 million low-income women, new mothers, and infants each month, and has been linked in studies to higher birth weight and lower infant mortality.
  • The G.O.P. bill also slices $50 million from the block grant supporting programs providing prenatal health care to 2.5 million low-income women and health care to 31 million children annually.
  • $50 million in cuts to the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant that “supports state-based prenatal care programs and services for children with special needs.”
  • $1 billion in cuts to programs at the National Institutes of Health that support “lifesaving biomedical research aimed at finding the causes and developing strategies for preventing preterm birth.” 
  • Nearly $1 billion in cuts to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for its preventive health programs, including to its preterm birth studies.          

Additional bills include:

  • Two bills in the Republican House would go even further than the current Democrat agreement to stop insurance companies from offering plans that cover abortions in denying coverage to the 30 percent or so of women who have an abortion during child-bearing years.        
  • A bill, offered by Representative Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania, has a provision that would allow hospitals receiving federal funds to refuse to terminate a pregnancy even when necessary to save a woman’s life.       

In the opinion section there is a somewhat more strongly worded article (hooray!)  which states:
It is savagely immoral and profoundly inconsistent to insist that women endure unwanted — and in some cases dangerous — pregnancies for the sake of “unborn children,” then eliminate financing designed to prevent those children from being delivered prematurely, rendering them the most fragile and vulnerable of newborns. How is this humane?        
Of the 33 countries that the International Monetary Fund describes as “advanced economies,” the United States now has the highest infant mortality rate according to data from the World Bank. It took us decades to arrive at this dubious distinction. In 1960, we were 15th. In 1980, we were 13th. And, in 2000, we were 2nd.        

While I am a little anxious about graphs than mix a large number of things up on the same axis wo/ units, this still tells the tell tale story:

This is a fucking mess.  If one of these cowards who voted for this ever contends than they think of women as less than secondary citizens, call them out for the lying shitbags that they are.  Cutting access to health care to the majority of all women will require a whole lot more spine than the "firm leadership" called for in the same NYT article.  I am pleased that they printed the article, but the democrats can not be counted on to do anything but throwing women's health and equal rights issues under the bus to placate their theocrat wingnut opponents.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Koch Whore: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker answers his master’s call

This is just too cool...

Social engineering at it's finest - call up Her Walker and pretend to be David Koch.

I have had some problems getting through since the site is getting kinda popular at the moment..


Just a quick taste:

Koch: Well, they’re probably putting hobos in suits.
Walker: Yeah.
Koch: That’s what we do. Sometimes.
Walker: I mean paying for the senators to be put up. I know they’re paying for these guy—I mean, people can pay for protesters to come in and that’s not an ethics code, but, I mean, literally if the unions are paying the 14 senators—their food, their lodging, anything like that…[*** Important regarding his later acceptance of a Koch offer to “show him a good time.” ***]
[I was stunned. I am stunned. In the interest of expediting the release of this story, here are the juiciest bits:]
Walker: …I’ve got layoff notices ready…
Koch: Beautiful; beautiful. Gotta crush that union.
Walker: [bragging about how he doesn't budge]…I would be willing to sit down and talk to him, the assembly Democrat leader, plus the other two Republican leaders—talk, not negotiate and listen to what they have to say if they will in turn—but I’ll only do it if all 14 of them will come back and sit down in the state assembly…legally, we believe, once they’ve gone into session, they don’t physically have to be there. If they’re actually in session for that day, and they take a recess, the 19 Senate Republicans could then go into action and they’d have quorum…so we’re double checking that. If you heard I was going to talk to them that’s the only reason why. We’d only do it if they came back to the capital with all 14 of them…
Koch: Bring a baseball bat. That’s what I’d do.
Walker: I have one in my office; you’d be happy with that. I have a slugger with my name on it.
Koch: Beautiful.

Remainder of transcript and utube links are at:


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Mephistopheles dental floss, or Toe Jam

I am at a loss for the bolts falling off our so called society, so I counter the irrational fervor with a good serving of word salad.  You try putting "Mephistopheles dental floss" into google image search and see what you get.

All sorts of shit is going on now and it is getting a little weird.  What troubles me is not that I think that all of these things will pass, but what sort of world would exist if they did, and what sociopath would push for such a dream?  Quick bullet point list:

  • Defunding Planned Parenthood
  • Defunding PBS (ok, I get defunding Elmo...)
  • Defunding NPR
  • Whatever the fuck is going on in WI: War on unions (rather, those who did not suck Scott Douchbag Walkers ass), teachers, universities and other  non-trolls
  • Tearing down Social Security
  • Significant Defunding of many state schools
  • Authorizing the assassination of medical providers (see prev post)
  • And So Much More!

On the other hand, the same federal congressional brain trust voted to continue having the US Army spend more than $7 million a year to sponsor NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Ryan Newman and several million more as part of a partnership with NASCAR.  Since I lack many of the essential social boundaries that lubricate our "normal" interactions, I will indeed ask: what did Ryan have to do to who to get such an excellent contract???

This is life in new america folks.

If you are not in, you are out in the cold of some sort of Dicken's novel.  Except without any hope of a good ending.  Just a cold angry fearful place.  Just in case I am planning on re-reading The Handmaiden's Tale for homework.

As an antidote to the bile that I have been choking down, I offer you this:

For the first time in a while I am actually proud of the people who live here.  Tens of thousands of people have gone down to the capitol building for days now to protest the absurdity of our current state governor.  The mighty Mrs. set.element and I are dragging thing1 and thing2 down there to provide a little demonstration of participatory democracy.   Now that makes me happy.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

HB1171: codifying abortion provider killing

I have blovated at length about the world spinning down and the continuing war against Reason and decency.  I have scooped up a big stinking pile of shit and waited for the mushrooms to grow.  And still I wait.  So here in this happy place I discovered a new low.  Go figure.

HB1171 is a bill currently in play in South Dakota which redefines justifiable homicide in such a way as to make it legal to shoot abortion providers in cold blood.  No doubt it will not make it out of committee, but that kinda misses the point.

FOR AN ACT ENTITLED, An Act to expand the definition of justifiable homicide to provide for the protection of certain unborn children.
Section 1. That § 22-16-34 be amended to read as follows:
22-16-34. Homicide is justifiable if committed by any person while resisting any attempt to murder such person, or to harm the unborn child of such person in a manner and to a degree likely to result in the death of the unborn child, or to commit any felony upon him or her, or upon or in any dwelling house in which such person is.
Section 2. That § 22-16-35 be amended to read as follows:
22-16-35. Homicide is justifiable if committed by any person in the lawful defense of such person, or of his or her husband, wife, parent, child, master, mistress, or servant, or the unborn child of any such enumerated person, if there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design to commit a felony, or to do some great personal injury, and imminent danger of such design being accomplished.

If you have the stomach, read more in a Mother Jones about this.  I am going to lose my shit for a moment.

This bill is sponsored by Rep. Phil Jensen a "committed" foe of abortion rights.  He is just another chickenshit doushbag from the religious right.  He lacks the fucking stones to actually say what he means - he says "This simply is to bring consistency to South Dakota statute as it relates to justifiable homicide" which is bullshit.  What a bastard.  Every one of these people acts like this - a fucking refusal to step up and actually own the consequences of their actions.  These fans of "personal responsibility", these baby jebus loven' freedom hating spoiled shits get the wingnuttery all riled up then sit around and have the gall to stare blankly into a camera and say they had NO IDEA that thirty years of increasingly violent hate speech would somehow be a problem after people start being killed.

I am not better now, but if I do not stop I might write something that is ALL IN CAPS and FULL OF THINGS THAT MIGHT GET ME IN TROUBLE.

Looks like the bill made it out of committee and will be on the floor of the state house.

By the way if you see the beautiful Mrs set.element today, please give her a hug cause today is a hard one.  Also I apologize to Spiros for the terrible violence I have committed against the english language.


quick amendment - the delightful Mrs set.element just pointed out the creepy master/mistress/servant language.  WTF?  These people are so many damned layers of creepy I just want to take a shower after reading this.