Monday Reads: Yeah, it’s Monday all RightPosted: April 29, 2019
Good Afternoon Sky Dancers!
A girl is traumatized.
I’m in the middle of a major plumbing meltdown. I’m still traumatized by last night’s Game of Throne’s Battle of Winterfell. I really really don’t want to look at the news either because our version of the Army of the Dead is still walking around the Halls of Congress. Oh, and the President told his cult that good OB/GYNs like my daughter basically will murder babies when they actually fit the definition of a living, breathing, sentient human being and not a cluster of cells or a miscarriage in process or whatever of a million things can happen or go wrong in the entire gestation process.
There is nothing pleasant that comes out of a Trump Rally. So, why does the media normalize anything that happens there? There is nothing normal about him, his cult, or anything any of them do. In the Vox Article ” Coverage of Trump’s latest rally shows how major media outlets normalize his worst excesses”, Aaron Rupar writes ” Lying is still being recast as “reviv[ing] an inaccurate refrain.”
Here is exhibit One from Toronto Star’s Fact Checker.
The New York Times did attempt to fact-check Trump’s lie about Democrats and abortion— Trump accused Democrats of supporting doctors who “wrap the baby beautifully” before they get together with the mother and “determine whether or not they will execute the baby” — but in so doing, the outlet demonstrated it doesn’t really have a vocabulary to adequately deal with Trump.
Instead of calling Trump’s lie a lie, the Times used the euphemism “revived an inaccurate refrain” in a tweet that was widely mocked. The accompanying article goes out of its way to avoid accusing Trump of lying, instead describing him as “reviv[ing] on Saturday night what is fast becoming a standard, and inaccurate, refrain about doctors ‘executing babies.’”
Major media outlets have long struggled with how exactly to cover Trump, with the Times famously coming to the word “lie” in a headline late, something the paper’s own public editor criticized it for. This effort to find euphemisms for the word “lie” is actually normalizing his worst excesses. Coverage of this sort makes him seem like any other politician.
The irony is that on Saturday night, as always, the media was one of Trump’s foremost targets of abuse — yet the very outlets Trump demeans continue to bend over backward to cover him in the most favorable possible light.
No doctor does that. They would be arrested for murder immediately and it would be a violation of everything they’ve worked and studied and are paid to do. There is no such thing as a “partial birth abortion” either even though Republicans pass laws to ban an imaginary procedure. Trump has made this equivocation before.
If that sounds a bit flippant, that’s because, as Jen Gunter, an OBGYN who trained in late-term abortions, pointed out on Twitter, “There is no such thing as a ninth month abortion.” Those who seek late-term abortions are seeking them before a pregnancy reaches full term but often and unfortunately after they have discovered in the second or third trimester some problem with the fetus or danger to the mother.
But the inaccuracies started before Trump even responded: Wallace’s question was problematic right out of the gate because of the term he used. “Partial birth” is a political, not medical, term, and it does not refer to all late-term abortions. It refers to a very specific and rare procedure called dilation and extraction*, in which a fetus is partially pulled through the birth canal and then aborted, nearly always when the fetus cannot live outside the womb and typically when the mother’s health is in danger, the fetus has a serious abnormality, or both. Such a procedure is not conducted lightly: the fetus has a fatal defect and will not survive, or the mother is at risk of death herself.
As this NPR article notes about a partial-birth abortion ban passed in 2003, “when some members of Congress tried to amend the bill to ban only those procedures that take place after viability, abortion opponents complained that would leave most of the procedures legal.” And the Supreme Court ultimately declined to strike down the ban anyway. Further, most states don’t allow late-term abortions: just eight states and Washington, D.C., have no restrictions on abortion timing, and the rest have restrictions and other regulations in place.
As noted, these types of abortions are extremely rare. Although both the rate and number of abortions have steadily fallen in the U.S., an estimated 1 million procedures are performed each year, according to the Guttmacher Institute. These procedures remain very safe, considerably more so than pregnancy and birth, in fact. Of these abortions, 91.4% are performed in the first trimester, less than 14 weeks into pregnancy. Just 1.3% of abortions are performed at or after 21 weeks, and an estimated 0.2% of all abortions involve the dilation and evacuation procedure. And why would women seek them in the first place?
After viability, every effort is made to save the infant–when possible–who is fully outside the womb, breathing and considered as human as you and me.
Good News every one! It appears a huge portion of the population does not want to vote for Trump. This means he’ll be looking for Russian, Saudi, Chinese, etc help again. The Republicans will go full metal voter suppression. AND we need a hero … I’m borrowing Arya from the Game of Thrones Realm because she was definitely there with mad battle skills when every one most needs it.
“And what do we say to the God of Death?
No memes. Just Arya warrior woman photos for us today.
Even with Biden in the race, several more prospects — among them, Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Gov. Steve Bullock (D-Mont.) — are still looking to get in. And while Biden begins from a commanding position in the polls, it’s unclear how much of that support will remain adhered to him. Rival campaigns expect it to erode.
TV crews still follow the hordes of candidates running under 10 percent in the polls, any number of whom have good reason to believe that with far lower name recognition than Biden and the other behemoth in the race, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), their own campaigns have time to grow.
The key milepost, nearly every campaign agrees, is the first official debate in June.
“Between now and the debates, polls are going to be all over the place, and then even post the debates, polls are going to be all over the place,” said Robert Wolf, a venture capitalist and influential Democratic donor who raised money for and advised former President Barack Obama.
Predicting the Democratic field would not narrow to a “true top 5” until the fall, Wolf said, “In 2007-2008 it was really a choice between Obama, Edwards and Clinton. In 2016, it was a choice between Bernie and Hillary … Today, you could argue no one’s north of 25 percent, and you know, it doesn’t feel like that many people are picking one [candidate] versus the other.”
Three of the nation’s most influential activists are launching an organization that aims to harness the political power of women to influence elections and shape local and national policy priorities.
Dubbed Supermajority, the organization is the creation of Cecile Richards, the former head of Planned Parenthood; Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter; and Ai-jen Poo, executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. The group, which describes itself as multiracial and intergenerational, has a goal of training and mobilizing 2 million women over the next year to become organizers and political leaders in their communities.
The effort comes at a moment when women have emerged as perhaps the most powerful force in politics.
Millions of women marched in cities across America to protest President Donald Trump’s election. Women also comprise the majority of the electorate in the 2018 midterm elections, sending a historic number of female candidates to Congress and helping Democrats retake control of the House. A record number of women are also seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, including four senators.
Richards, who has long been a force in Democratic politics, said women “feel newly empowered and frankly motivated to take action, including so many women who never thought themselves as an activist before.”
Richards, Garza and Poo spent the past year traveling the country talking to women about how to harness their activism. They found that despite increased energy, many women find getting involved in politics intimidating and are unclear about how to do more than just march or protest.
“Women are mad as hell and we’ve been in resistance mode for two years,” Garza said. “Now it’s time to equip people.”
Jonathan Chait writes today about another one of the horrible things about Trump. “Why Trump Is Soft on White-Supremacist Terrorism”
Last week, President Trump repeated his absurd claim that he had never called the Nazi protesters who descended on Charlottesville in 2017 “very fine people.” On Saturday, yet another white-supremacist attack, on a synagogue in California, demonstrated the point that Trump and his allies wish to obscure: Right-wing terrorism is a more extreme version of Trump’s own political style. It draws inspiration from his ideas and some measure of protection from his political power.
Conservatives have long denied any links whatsoever between the brand of white supremacy represented by Nazis or the Ku Klux Klan and Republican-style conservatism. Conservative books like Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning and Dinesh D’Souza’s The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left have tried, absurdly, to identify these movements with the left side of the ideological spectrum.
The rise of Donald Trump has made this strained argument preposterous. Trump is not a white supremacist; if I showed you a block of text from one of his speeches side by side with a speech by David Duke, you would be able to tell the difference. But Trump’s rhetoric has excited and mobilized white supremacists because it teases the same theories that they make explicitly. Trump paints unauthorized immigrants as bloodthirsty rapists and murderers and touts their arrival as part of a geopolitical conspiracy to demographically transform the United States.
“A lot of people say” the caravan he hyped was funded by George Soros, Trump suggested last fall. (Trump favorite Lou Dobbs is one of the people who was saying this.) Trump’s closing campaign ad railed against “a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth, and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities,” juxtaposing this inflammatory claim over images of Soros and other Jewish figures.
I still feel like we’ve been overtaken by some other worldly and quite evil. Although, our history and country is built on the backs of black slaves and stolen indigenous land and lives. We know this is in our DNA and history but we are more than Donald Trump and his cult.
I can’t imagine this campaign season is going to be any better than the last one other than there is an army of women who can gang up on him with ever one else. I just hope we all make Hillary proud.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?