Tucker Carlson and his wife were looking to get their son a leg up in his college application to Georgetown University when they turned to a well-connected Washington friend who had an even better-connected father.
“I realize you don’t really know Buckley,” Susie Carlson wrote via email in 2014 to Hunter Biden, a Georgetown graduate and the son of the then-vice president. “Maybe you could meet or speak to him and he could send you a very brief resume with his interests and grades attached.”
Tucker Carlson offered that his son was a good squash player and an excellent fly fisherman. “He loves Washington for all the right reasons, I think,” Carlson added, “and really wants to go to school here.” When Biden agreed to write a letter of recommendation, Susie Carlson added a heap of praise: “Tucker and I have the greatest respect and admiration for you. Always!”
Good Day Sky Dancers!
Things keep getting weirder this week. News broke last night that would be stunning if it was just one story. But, it wasn’t just one story. It is story after story after story including a shooting at a university I taught at while I was ABD.
I’ve been grading and working on my earth mother vibe to try to stave off that feeling that it’s going to get worse before it gets better. My neighbor drove me to get a sourdough starter. I used to work this into bread weekly when my girls were quite little. Well, I think it went bad around the time I had cancer and couldn’t keep up with anything and that would make baby daughter an actual baby daughter. This starter actually comes from Sandor Katz about 20 years ago. So it must have radical power!
This brings me to the formula shortage and the behavior of the Nasty Nine Republican Congress Critters in the House. My first daughter never had formula at all but the littlest one got weaned early because my milk just dried up at the shock of my cancer diagnosis. She was like 5 months at the time and we had to get her on soy formula because, like me, she had issues with the regular stuff. Fortunately, the soy alternative was around for her. I can’t imagine it being absent from shelves. It hurts thinking about it.
I still can’t believe anyone serving in Congress couldn’t get themselves to vote for a program to help put baby formula on shelves. Most voted to get some flexibility on formula brands for WIC recipients. But, 200 of them evidently decided that it wasn’t time for government spending on live babies. They seem to have their whitie-tighties in a bunch over the President getting the military to bring some in from Switzerland too. It’s the continuation of that forced birth notion where we forget the actual children once they’re out of the birth canal. So, this is the good and horrid news yesterday for families with fertile mothers.
The good news is that the baby formula shortage may come to an end rather quickly. From WAPO: “Baby formula plant may be open within a week, FDA commissioner says.” Maybe, I’m obsessed with this because I have two granddaughters on formula right now but it just seems like something that shouldn’t happen in a highly developed country. It’s mostly because we’ve let the industry get way too concentrated and have done a lot to stop the importation from foreign sources. The last one was when NAFTA was renegotiated and Trump was having his milk wars with Canada. I guess the one good thing is my kids are close to Canada and have resources since both are Doctors.
Congress on Thursday passed a measure aimed at helping low-income mothers more easily get baby formula, as lawmakers intensified their scrutiny of failures at the Food and Drug Administration, failures that led to a nationwide shortage of a critical food source for infants and medically fragile children.
The bill, which President Biden is expected to sign, passed unanimously in the Senate and with bipartisan support in the House. It would allow mothers in the Women, Infants and Children program — who buy half the formula in the United States — a broader choice of formulas during supply-chain crises that threaten baby food and formula.
The votes came on a day when FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf was grilled by members of a House appropriations subcommittee about failures at his agency that contributed to the shortage. The members criticized the FDA for moving too slowly to investigate a whistleblower complaint last year at a baby formula plant in Sturgis, Mich., that makes much of the U.S. supply of powdered formula. The plant was inspected and shuttered only this year after two infants were sickened and two infants died after consuming contaminated formula. Abbott Nutrition, which operates the plant, has said there isn’t clear evidence the contamination came from the factory.
Let’s hope this ends shortly before any more babies get sick or die.
This, however, keeps going on and I hope we get some frog marches before we all die of advanced age. This is from Politico: “Eastman provides new details of Trump’s direct role in legal effort to overturn election. The court filing describes the direct role of Trump himself in developing strategy, detailing “two hand-written notes from former President Trump about information that he thought might be useful for the anticipated litigation.”
John Eastman, the attorney who architected Donald Trump’s last-ditch legal strategy to overturn the 2020 election, revealed Friday that he routinely communicated with Trump either directly or via “six conduits” during the chaotic weeks that preceded the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
In a late-night court filing urging a federal judge to maintain the confidentiality of his work for Trump, Eastman provided the clearest insight yet into the blizzard of communications between Trump, his top aides, his campaign lawyers and the army of outside attorneys who were working to help reverse the outcome in a handful of states won by Joe Biden.
The filing also describes the direct role of Trump himself in developing strategy, detailing “two hand-written notes from former President Trump about information that he thought might be useful for the anticipated litigation.” Those notes are among the documents Eastman is seeking to shield via attorney-client privilege. Eastman said he would also speak directly with Trump by phone throughout his legal challenges to the election.
Eastman described these contacts and records as part of an effort to prevent the Jan. 6 select committee from accessing 600 emails that describe his efforts to build Trump’s legal gambit to reverse the 2020 election outcome — and, when that failed, urge state legislatures to simply overturn the results themselves. He argues that the documents are protected by attorney-client and attorney work product privileges that Congress has no business probing, even as the panel investigates the circumstances that led a mob of Trump supporters to attack the Capitol.
Well, that’s what lawyers call “proof of intent”. (Lock him up!)
Okay, deep breaths and a poem before I go on …
by Mary Oliver
Ordinarily I go to the woods alone,
with not a single friend,
for they are all smilers and talkers
and therefore unsuitable.
I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds
or hugging the old black oak tree.
I have my ways of praying,
as you no doubt have yours.
Besides, when I am alone
I can become invisible.
I can sit on the top of a dune
as motionless as an uprise of weeds,
until the foxes run by unconcerned.
I can hear the almost unhearable sound of the roses singing.
If you have ever gone to the woods with me,
I must love you very much.
Well, it had to come to pass, and turn off the TV for the weekend unless you want to be driven nuts by tales of Hunter Biden’s laptop. I think it was leaked as a distraction because unless we get to hear about Donald Jr, Ivanka, and Jared’s forays into shaking down nations, I do not give a fuck about this. However, here’s the NBC take. (Hint: he went on a drug-fueled bender as he mentioned in HIS BOOK.) Analysis of Hunter Biden’s hard drive shows he, his firm took in about $11 million from 2013 to 2018, spent it fast. The hard drive and documents from Senate Republicans indicate few of Biden’s deals ever came to fruition and shed light on how fast he was spending his money. ” Just so, you remember, this is like Benghazi, it never goes away.
NBC News obtained a copy of Biden’s laptop hard drive from a representative of Rudy Giuliani and examined Biden’s business dealings from 2013 to 2018 based on the information available on the hard drive and the scope of the documents released by the Senate.
The Republicans on the Senate Finance and Homeland Security committees, then chaired by Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, respectively, issued their first report on Biden’s business dealings in September 2020. The 87-page report said Biden had “cashed in” on his name, but Johnson said in an interview before its release that the report included “no massive smoking guns.”
Now in the minority, the Republicans from the two committees are still reviewing and analyzing several hundred pages of financial and business documents tied to Biden and his business associates, according to a person familiar with the committee’s work.
But of course, his LAPTOP!!
I have to admit, it’s somewhat like watching two trains wreck at once. Trust Fund Tuckums just surely can grovel just as well as throw utter bull crap to an audience.
And speaking of weasely wipipo gone wild, this is from Michael Tomasky’s “Fighting Words, a weekly newsletter about what got me steamed this week. ” You may get this newsletter from TNR. It perks up my Fridays for sure!
Item two: Who is Barry Loudermilk?
Thursday afternoon on MSNBC, Nicolle Wallace asked Charlie Sykes, What do you know about Barry Loudermilk? Sykes offered that all-too-rare cable TV response: Not much, really.
Who is he? He’s a congressman from Georgia, from the 11th district, north and west of Atlanta. He co-sponsored legislation to disband the Environmental Protection Agency. He seems to be in the pocket of the credit-rating agencies, whittling away at consumer protections. He voted not to certify the presidential election results. And so on. A run-of-the-mill right-wing backbencher: hence Wallace and Sykes’s lack of information. Nothing of particular interest.
But now, the January 6 select committee has hit upon something quite interesting indeed. Loudermilk gave a tour of the Capitol to constituents on January 5, 2021. That’s, uh, one day before January 6, as you have no doubt already sussed. The Capitol was closed. He was caught on closed-circuit showing some people around.
The long-held suspicion, of course, is that some GOP members gave “reconnaissance tours” before the riot to people who’d come to town to storm the Capitol. Loudermilk insists that he did nothing wrong—that it was just one family, and they never ventured into the areas that were breached. If so, that family got a pretty crappy tour, considering that the breached areas included the halls directly surrounding the House chamber, the House gallery upstairs, and the magnificent Rotunda, the showcase of any Capitol tour, with its impressive statuary and its eight large canvases depicting scenes of the early republic.
We shall see what we shall see. But one increasingly gets the feeling from the leaks that have come out from the committee that these people know stuff. A lot of stuff. Which the rest of us will know soon enough.
As you can see, I’m trying some new tricks today to distract me from all the mass shootings, the Elon Musk Tweets, etc. But I will say that Elon Musk is such a supreme sociopath and narcissist that he could give Donald Trump a run for his money.
Okay, some pretty music before you’ll need to take another morning shower on the next one. I got to hear Bernadette Peters in concert so that’s my happy place right now. My oldest daughter wore the tape out on this one. When I was living in Minneapolis, we went to see it live at the Circle Theatre! What a treat!
Okay, I warned you.
WAPO’s Emma Brown has this headline: “Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court justice, pressed Ariz. lawmakers to help reverse Trump’s loss, emails show.” Can we PULEEZE get some FROGMARCHES in this country?
Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, pressed Arizona lawmakers after the 2020 election to set aside Joe Biden’s popular-vote victory and choose “a clean slate of Electors,” according to emails obtained by The Washington Post.
The emails, sent by Ginni Thomas to a pair of lawmakers on Nov. 9, 2020, argued that legislators needed to intervene because the vote had been marred by fraud. Though she did not mention either candidate by name, the context was clear.
Just days after media organizations called the race for Biden in Arizona and nationwide, Thomas urged the lawmakers to “stand strong in the face of political and media pressure.” She told the lawmakers the responsibility to choose electors was “yours and yours alone” and said they have “power to fight back against fraud.”
But her EMAILS! But his LAPTOP! Lock her up!
It seems like nearly every Republican candidate is trying to outdo each other in selling out women’s bodies to the state. This is from HuffPo: “Trump-Endorsed Candidate Backs Banning Birth Control. Jacky Eubanks, who is running for Michigan state Senate, said “sex ought to be between one man and one woman in the confines of marriage.” Yes, it’s another Phyliss Schafly wannabe.
Donald Trump’s pick for a Michigan state Senate seat is promising to ban all birth control if she gets the chance.
“I guess we have to ask ourselves, would that ever come to a vote in the Michigan state legislature? And if it should, I would have to side with it should not be legal,” Republican Jacky Eubanks said in a recent interview with the site Church Militant.
“People believe that birth control — it’s better, like you said, oh, because then you won’t get pregnant and you won’t need to have an abortion,” she added. “But I think it gives people the false sense of security that they can have consequence-free sex, and that’s not true and that’s not correct. Sex ought to be between one man and one woman in the confines of marriage.”
Eubanks’ comments are some of the most explicit from a conservative candidate about going after contraception. But some other Republicans have made clear that with abortion rights likely to be struck down this summer, they’re starting to eye contraception restrictions as well.
Republican politicians have started talking about Griswold v. Connecticut as another case they’d like to see the Supreme Court overturn after Roe v. Wade. That 1965 decision said married couples have a right to contraception access based on the constitutional right to privacy. That decision could set the stage for future decisions that further restrict birth control protections, abortion and marriage equality.
Okay, I’m going to go water the squash. Set yeast. Go grade. If this country comes to a vile end then I at least want to go out with a good dinner. Church Militant? WTF is a church militant? This certainly can’t have anything to do with the Jesus of the Beatitudes. As my grandfather used to say when he cursed “Jesus wept!”
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
Good Day Sky Dancers!
Fifty years ago, Elton John released Tiny Dancer, and Clockwork Orange was playing in theatres. We were fighting what seemed like an endless war run by a lawless President. It was the year of the Easter Offensive when North Vietnamese forces overran South Vietnamese forces. It was probably the first true evidence of a war the US would not win.
Shirley Chisholm became the first woman and African American to seek the nomination for president of the United States from one of the two major political parties. The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) passed Congress and got 35 of the 38 votes to become a Constitutional Amendment. In 1972, Native Americans occupied the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The protest came from tribal frustration with the government’s ‘Trail of Broken Treaties.’ It lasted six days.
Furman v. Georgia was decided in 1972. The United States Supreme Court invalidated all death penalty schemes in the United States in a 5–4 decision. Each member of the majority wrote a separate opinion. The Civil Rights act of 1972 passed which led to Title IX.
A recipient institution that receives Department funds must operate its education program or activity in a nondiscriminatory manner free of discrimination based on sex, including sexual orientation and gender identity. Some key issue areas in which recipients have Title IX obligations are: recruitment, admissions, and counseling; financial assistance; athletics; sex-based harassment, which encompasses sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence; treatment of pregnant and parenting students; treatment of LGBTQI+ students; discipline; single-sex education; and employment. Also, no recipient or other person may intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX or its implementing regulations, or because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in a proceeding under Title IX.
1972 was also the year of the Gary Declaration coming from a National Black Political Convention. Reverend Jesse Jackson was just one of many to attend the convention.
What Time Is It?
We come to Gary in an hour of great crisis and tremendous promise for Black America. While the white nation hovers on the brink of chaos, while its politicians offer no hope of real change, we stand on the edge of history and are faced with an amazing and frightening choice: We may choose in 1972 to slip back into the decadent white politics of American life, or we may press forward, moving relentlessly from Gary to the creation of our own Black life. The choice is large, but the time is very short.
Let there be no mistake. We come to Gary in a time of unrelieved crisis for our people. From every rural community in Alabama to the high-rise compounds of Chicago, we bring to this Convention the agonies of the masses of our people. From the sprawling Black cities of Watts and Nairobi in the West to the decay of Harlem and Roxbury in the East, the testimony we bear is the same. We are the witnesses to social disaster.
Our cities are crime-haunted dying grounds. Huge sectors of our youth — and countless others — face permanent unemployment. Those of us who work find our paychecks able to purchase less and less. Neither the courts nor the prisons contribute to anything resembling justice or reformation. The schools are unable — or unwilling — to educate our children for the real world of our struggles. Meanwhile, the officially approved epidemic of drugs threatens to wipe out the minds and strength of our best young warriors.
Economic, cultural, and spiritual depression stalk Black America, and the price for survival often appears to be more than we are able to pay. On every side, in every area of our lives, the American institutions in which we have placed our trust are unable to cope with the crises they have created by their single-minded dedication to profits for some and white supremacy above all.
I was in high school feeling like we might actually get through this all and get to the dream of a more perfect Union. It was definitely a year of ups and downs. Fifty years ago seems like another lifetime. You’d think we’d see more progress on all of this.
We do have a Black Woman Vice President but no ERA and we had our first Black Man elected President who served two terms.. The Department of Interior is led by an Indigenous woman who has planned reforms that might bring more civil rights to our native peoples. Women’s sports are taken a lot more seriously but not one woman player earns what her male peers make.
Black Americans face a new wave of voter suppression and a Supreme Court ready to tear through laws meant to improve access to American Universities not unlike what the 1972 Civil Rights law sought to do on the basis of gender. We just got rid of a second long, unwinnable war but will we have another?
We also have Elton John on tour and Droogs. The Droogs are the white male Maga Men and hide under names like Oathkeepers, Proud Boys, and Patriot Front.
Some things don’t change and in this country, we know why. They don’t share power. They don’t want to. They’ll do anything to keep as much of it as possible. We have a White Male problem and it’s mostly got the face of an extreme patriarchal take of Christianity.
So that’s the perspective. This is the reality in 2022. This is from MS Magazine whose first stand-alone magazine was published in 1972. Excerpts from Elizabeth Hira’s “Americans Are Entitled to Government That Truly Reflects Them. Let’s Start With the Supreme Court” are going to show you exactly how far the rest of us still have to go. It’s in response to the audacity the Republican Party has to hold up Joe Biden’s promise to appoint the first black woman to the Supreme Court as some kind of affirmative action for a less-qualified person which is total Bull Shit.
This is the premise she completely proves. “Our current system has created conditions where, statistically, mostly white men win. That is its own kind of special privilege. Something must change.”
This is her conclusion. “American government in no way reflects America—perpetuating a system where male, white power makes decisions for the rest of us.”
These are her descriptive statistics.
Data shows these claims are not hyperbolic. A Supreme Court vacancy started this inquiry: There have been 115 Supreme Court justices. 108 have been white men. One is a woman of color, appointed in 2009. (Americans have had iPhones for longer than they’ve had a woman-of-color justice.)
One might be tempted to dismiss old history, except that the Supreme Court specifically cannot be looked at as a “snapshot in time” because the Court is built on precedent stretching back to the nation’s founding. Practically speaking, that means every decision prior to 1967 (when Justice Thurgood Marshall joined the Court) reflected what a group of exclusively white men decided for everyone else in America—often to the detriment of the unrepresented.
In a nation that is 51 percent female and 40 percent people of color, are white men simply more qualified to represent the rest of us than we are of representing ourselves? That sounds ridiculous because it is. And yet that is the implication when naysayers tell us that race and gender do not matter—that the “most qualified” people can “make the best choices” for all of us, and they all just happen to be white men.
What’s worse, those white men aren’t just making broad, general decisions—each and every branch of government acts in ways that directly impact people because of their race and gender, among other identities.
- When the Supreme Court considers affirmative action, it will be considering whether race matters for students who are already experiencing an increase in school segregation—what Jonathan Kozol once dubbed “Educational Apartheid.”
- When Congress is inevitably asked to pass a bill to protect abortion should the Court strike down Roe v. Wade, 73 percent of the Congress making that decision will be men—not people who could even potentially experience pregnancy.
- When recent voting rights bills failed, it was because two white Democrats and 48 Republicans (45 white and three non-white) collectively decided not to protect all American voters of color against targeted attacks on their access to the ballot.
- When Senator Kyrsten Sinema spoke to the Senate floor about why she could not take necessary steps to protect Americans of color, she did not have to look a single sitting Black woman senator in the eye. Because there are none.
The pattern holds federally, too: Today’s Congress is the most diverse ever—a laudable achievement. Except that today’s Congress is 77 percent white, and 73 percent male. (As an example of how clear it is that Congress was simply not designed for women, Congresswomen only got their own restroomin the U.S. House in 2011.)
In the executive branch, 97.8 percent of American presidents have been white men. There has never been a woman president.
The numbers don’t lie. I don’t even want to go into the number of American presidents that have been worse than mediocre including the previous guy. This is the kind of systemic discrimination perpetuated in this country’s primary decision-makers. It is no wonder 50 years later we are even losing the table scraps they’re stealing now.
I’m going to leave you with this one last analysis before telling you to go read the entire essay.
The first female major-party presidential nominee was dogged by questions of her “electability,” and recent data shows large donors gave Black women congressional candidates barely one-third of what they gave their other female counterparts. Some people don’t support women and candidates of color because they worry these candidates simply can’t win in a white male system of power—which perpetuates a white male system of power. To create equitable opportunities to run, we must change campaign finance structures. It’s a necessary precursor to getting a government that looks like everyone.
I’m trying to send money to Val Demings in her effort to take down Mark Rubio. Mark Rubio will never consider the interests of all of his constituency because he’s funded by white males with a vested interest in their monopolies on politics and the economy.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
Now Tom said, “Mom, wherever there’s a cop beating a guy
Wherever a hungry newborn baby cries
Where there’s a fight against the blood and hatred in the air
Look for me, Mom, I’ll be there
Wherever somebody’s fighting for a place to stand
Or a decent job or a helping hand
Wherever somebody’s struggling to be free
Look in their eyes, Ma, and you’ll see me”
Like Tom Joad, I was born an Okie. I was born on the Cherokee strip one of those places on the Trail of Broken Treaties at the end of the Trail of Tears. “The Grapes of Wrath” was on many a book banning and burning list back in the day. Look for it again on a list near you.
All of us here are aware that men who commit violent acts such as mass shootings, attacks on Planned Parenthood and abortion clinics tend to have histories of domestic violence. Now we’re learning violence against women is common in men who participated in the January 6 Capitol insurrection. Recently NBC News investigative reporter Scott MacFarlane called attention to this connection.
I went looking for articles on this phenomenon. Here’s what I found.
This piece was published on January 13, 2021 at The Conversation: Misogyny in the Capitol: Among the insurrectionists, a lot of angry men who don’t like women, by Mona Lena Crook
Among the various forms of violence on display during the U.S. Capitol insurrection, one has been largely overlooked: misogyny, or hatred toward women. Yet behaviors and symbols of white male power were striking and persistent features of the riots.
Members of the overwhelmingly male crowds defending a president well-known for his sexist attacks, embraced male supremacist ideologies, wore military gear and bared their chests in shows of masculine bravado. They even destroyed display cabinets holding historical books on women in politics.
Actions targeting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi give the clearest illustration. Members of the mob broke into her office and vandalized it. Items like mail, signs and even her lectern proved to be particularly popular trophies – symbolizing an attack on Democrats and the House Speaker, but also against one of the most powerful women in American politics….
Attacks on Pelosi, while partisan in nature, also contained many elements of misogyny.
Pelosi was in physical danger as pro-Trump rioters roamed the Capitol building hunting down elected officials. News cameras filmed a man carrying zip-tie handcuffs entering and then exiting the speaker’s office, where members of her staff remained barricaded in a room for more than two hours.
Acts of vandalism and theft were accompanied by speech disparaging and belittling Pelosi as a woman. In the hallway outside her suite of offices, angry rioters tore the leadership nameplate off the wall as crowds chanted, “Get her out!”
In a video, a woman claimed she helped break down the door to Pelosi’s office. Once inside, “somebody stole her gavel and I took a picture sitting in the chair flipping off the camera.” She proudly announced “and that was for Fox News” – a station notorious not just for its far-right politics, but also for its on- and off-camera sexism.
A photo of Richard “Bigo” Barnett, sitting with his feet up on a desk in Pelosi’s office, solicited perhaps the strongest reaction. One feminist writer asked, “Have you ever seen a clearer photo of arrogant male entitlement? The legs apart, the foot on the desk, the smile … this guy isn’t just happy he’s broken into the Capitol building. He feels like he’s putting a woman in her place by violating and defiling her space.”
Consistent with this interpretation, Barnett later told a reporter: “I wrote her a nasty note, put my feet up on her desk, and scratched my balls.” The message read: “Nancy, Bigo was here you bitch.”
Krook is the author of Violence Against Women in Politics.
Miranda Christou discusses misogyny among women who participated in the Capital attack in her article at Rantt Media, published January 28, 2021: Gender And Misogyny At The Capitol Insurrection.
As Cynthia Miller-Idriss explained, “the individuals who participated in the violence came from a wide range of groups across the far-right spectrum—white supremacists and neo-Nazis, Proud Boys, patriot militias, QAnon conspiracy theorists, and violent MAGA extremists, your neighbors and maybe even your family members.”
The fact that these were mostly white people was no surprise. But the presence of women in the crowd puzzled many, mainly because of assumptions about women’s “instincts” and predispositions. While it is true that women are rarely at the frontlines of violent extremism and they constitute a minority of far-right leaders and far-right voters, this so-called “gender gap” is misleading.
Women’s tangible and often intense investment in organizations that feed on racism and sexism belies their small numerical representation. I argue that women’s role in extremist movements needs to be understood in light of the misogyny that fueled the insurrectionists’ violent behavior, both literally and symbolically.
Christou examines the history of white women being used to normalize hate movements.
White women’s role in white supremacy has a long history and it continues to morph into movements and causes that render a familial face to bigotry and hatred. This is why QAnon moms (or QAmoms) is now a mainstream phenomenon. The QAnon conspiracy infiltrated moms’ Facebook groups by tugging on their motherly sentiments and by providing them with likes in the age of mother influencers.
What took off as an obscure conspiracy theory supported by marginal basement dwellers moved into the kitchen and the living room because it artfully whitewashed Nazi ideology into a movement that purported to save trafficked children. No need to invoke the 14 words because QAnon hijacked #savethechildren in order to bestow an air of legitimacy and urgency to an otherwise ludicrous scheme.
Many white women have always been normalizing hate and they will continue to nurture children into hatred, bake cookies for white supremacists and declare innocence when their complicity is exposed. As Mona Eltahawy noted: “the audacity of white womanhood obscures and obfuscates the violence that white women are allowed to get away with.”
Of course women are only tools for the men who participate in hate movements, as Christou goes on to discuss. Head over to Rantt media to read the rest of this interesting piece. Also check out this article at Ms. Magazine, published in February: The Women of the Insurrection.
Two articles at HuffPost report on individual insurrectionists with histories of violence against women.
She was alarmed, but no more so than she had been by all the other messages: “I have better things to do than speak to a whore”; “Nobody loves you”; “Narcissistic whore.” Her ex-husband, Larry Rendall Brock Jr., had been sending them like clockwork for three years. A court had ordered the couple to communicate through a specialized portal while their contentious divorce was finalized. Larry often used it for threats.
“The stuff that he writes to me is brutal. You grow thick skin and try to filter it, but it’s hard,” said Katya, who shares a 6-year-old son with Larry. Katya said her ex-husband views women as “disposable” and has abused her throughout their four years of marriage and additional three years of separation.
Larry, a 53-year-old Air Force veteran, is one of the hundreds of insurrectionists who stormed the U.S. Capitol grounds on Jan. 6 and is now facing federal charges. He sported a combat helmet, a bulletproof vest and carried zip-tie handcuffs. His threats to Katya also went beyond those messages ― HuffPost uncovered numerous 911 calls from their home for domestic disputes, including one in 2016 in which Larry was described as making a “terroristic threat of family/household,” according to a police summary of the call.
Larry’s history of abusive behavior is part of an alarmingly common trend among the rioters who have been arrested so far for their roles in the insurrection. After reviewing police reports and court filings, a HuffPost investigation found that at least nine insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol have a history of violence against women ― ranging from domestic abuse accusations to prison time for sexual battery and criminal confinement.
Experts have linked extremism to violent misogyny in recent years, especially in the wake of mass shootings in which the perpetrators had a history of violence against women. These violent behaviors exist on a spectrum ― and, of course, not all abusive men turn into killers ― but violence against women often begets more violence, sometimes deadly. Three people died as a direct result of the violence at the Capitol, and more than 140 law enforcement officers were injured during the riot. Two U.S. Capitol Police officers have died by suicide in the aftermath.
“We still, in this day and age, treat violence against women as a personal or family issue, as opposed to a troubling indicator of someone who could become more violent,” said Bridget Todd, communications director at feminist organization UltraViolet.
Read more examples and more about Brock at the HuffPost link. Here is a follow-up article, published June 11, 2021: Revealed: Even More Insurrectionists Have Histories Of Violence Against Women.
One of the newly listed men, who was charged with attacking a police officer Jan. 6, has been responsible for “many hospital visits for many victims,” according to a charging memo uncovered by HuffPost. Another man being charged in connection with the Capitol riot has been arrested multiple times for domestic violence, but never prosecuted, and is pending trial on felony child abuse charges, HuffPost found.
And a third, who allegedly yelled at Capitol police that they were “protecting pedophiles,” was convicted of statutory rape in 2010, CNN reported last week.
The link between extremism and violent misogyny has become very evident in recent years as more mass shooters have been found to have a history of violent behavior toward women. Though most abusive men do not go on to perpetrate larger acts of violence, the ties between violence against women and extremism are too clear to ignore, experts said.
Ryan Samsel, 38, is charged with assaulting a U.S. Capitol Police officer and giving her a concussion while storming the barricades. According to prosecutors, Samsel “has an extensive criminal history of assaultive and violent behavior” toward women and has been convicted of assaulting women at least three times.
“The facts underlying these other convictions are extremely disturbing,” prosecutors wrote of Samsel in the Pennsylvania man’s detention memo. “They show a pattern of Samsel choking and beating women to the point of loss of consciousness, of many hospital visits for many victims, of chipped and missing teeth, and of Samsel even breaking into one victim’s home multiple times to assault her.”
Samsel’s criminal history includes a 2006 assault in which he attempted to run a woman he knew off the road with his car, punched her windshield and told her he would kill her if he didn’t get back the $60 she owed him, prosecutors stated. In 2009, Samsel was convicted of simple assault and reckless endangerment after he “held a victim against her will for five hours, choking her to the point of unconsciousness, pushing her, beating her, and chipping her teeth,” the detention memo says.
Samsel was again convicted of simple assault, among other charges, in 2011 for choking and beating his pregnant girlfriend. In 2015, he was convicted of simple assault for a third time, involving a different female victim who told police that Samsel had choked her to the point of losing consciousness.
Another woman came forward in 2019 and alleged that Samsel broke into her home, assaulted her and choked her until she lost consciousness multiple times. “The victim also alleged that Samsel raped her multiple times, and that she had often been scared he would kill her,” the detention memo says. The woman told police she got a restraining order against Samsel, but he violated it multiple times.
The Feds are using Samel’s history of violence against women to try to keep him in jail while he awaits trial.
From a February 4 story at The New York Times: The Misogynistic ‘Dating Coach’ Who Was Charged in the Capitol Riot.
For $150, Brad Holiday’s customers could purchase and download a package of dating tips and tricks he called his “Attraction Accelerator.” The batch of files featured advice from Mr. Holiday, a self-styled Manhattan dating coach, about things like the best facial serums and pickup lines, and his thoughts on the viciousness of the opposite sex.
But tucked between videos denigrating women and reviews of height-boosting shoes were other guides: how to defeat Communists, expose what he claimed were government pedophilia cabals, and properly wield a Glock.
On Jan. 20, F.B.I. agents arrested the man, whose real name is Samuel Fisher, outside his apartment on the Upper East Side in connection with his involvement in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Stashed in his Chevrolet Tahoe, parked on East 88th Street, investigators found a shotgun, machetes and more than a thousand rounds of ammunition, according to court records.
Like many of the roughly 175 people arrested after the riot, Mr. Fisher left a trail of social media posts about his exploits. “People died,” but it was great, Mr. Fisher wrote online after the attack, according to court records. “Seeing cops literally run … was the coolest thing ive ever seen in my life.” [….]
The composition of the mob that stormed the Capitol last month has come into sharper focus as arrests linked to the incident mount. In New York, the people charged include an accountant, a sanitation worker and a retired firefighter.
Among them were a handful of men like Mr. Fisher, whose large online footprint suggests a fierce devotion to a hypermasculine ethos of chauvinism, grievance and misogyny. His scores of videos, treatises and posts, spread across web pages and social media profiles, reflect a worldview that festers on the far-right fringe.
Read more at the NYT link.
Again, I know that the link between misogyny and other types of hatred is nothing new to Sky Dancers, but I think it’s important that NBC News’ Scott MacFarlane is talking about it. I’d like to see more of this from mainstream media types, though I’m not holding my breath while I wait to see it. Of course the hate–the misogyny, the racism, the anti-Semitism, the embrace of violence among the MAGA faithful all goes back to Trump.
Here’s an interesting piece from The Washington Post Magazine by David Montgomery, published January 14, 2021: 24 Warning Signs of an Insurrection That Should Have Been Obvious. And 11 shameful rationalizations that prevented so many Americans from seeing how bad things were getting.
Donald Trump’s rhetoric had consequences from the beginning of his presidential candidacy. In June 2015, he descended the golden escalator in Trump Tower to the cheers of fans, tourists and, reportedly, paid actors. His announcement speech was a potpourri of Trumpian braggadocio and vanity, with a dash of American optimism, all steeped in resentment — resentment against unnamed political elites, corrupt system-riggers, freeloaders, losers, Democrats and foreigners. He warned of the “rapists” invading from Mexico.
Just two months later, two brothers in Boston pounced on a Latino man sleeping outside a subway stop, viciously beating him. According to the arresting police officers, the brothers explained their attack as inspired by Trump’s demand that “illegals” be kicked out of the country.
That frenzied campaign summer, Trump’s rollicking rallies became safe spaces for his most enthusiastic and embittered supporters to vent unprintable racist, misogynistic and sometimes violent language against Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the news media. In coming months, some ralliers were moved to administer the occasional sucker punch to anti-Trump protesters.
It was all egged on by Trump, who smirked at his throngs’ antics. He never quite directed their attacks, but he never quite discouraged them either. Instead — not just at rallies, but continuing through the four years of his presidency — he set an example. He modeled maximal invective against enemies and harnessed it to an intemperate conviction that vast forces were conspiring against him — including, in the end, his own vice president.
Montgomery collected quotes from Trump and his enablers that led up to the violent insurrection on January 6.
I hope you’ll check out some of these articles that I’ve collected and let me know your reactions.
Today I want to follow up on what Daknikat wrote yesterday about the Supreme Court and abortion rights. Thanks to all the Bernie Bros and Hillary Haters, we ended up with Donald Trump in 2016, and he was able to appoint three right wing nuts to the Supreme Court.
We could have had the first woman president, and she could have nominated three liberals to the court. But misogyny and anti-Clinton propaganda won Trump enough electoral votes to take the White House even though he lost the popular vote. Now women will face the consequences.
Mark Joseph Stern at Slate: The Supreme Court Is Taking Direct Aim at Roe v. Wade.
On Monday morning, the Supreme Court announced that it will reconsider the constitutional prohibition against abortion bans before fetal viability. This decision indicates that the ultra-conservative five-justice majority is prepared to move aggressively against Roe v. Wade rather than tinker around the edges of abortion rights. The court will take on state laws that seek to outlaw abortion at early—and perhaps all—stages of pregnancy. It seems likely that the justices took this case for the express purpose of overturning Roe and allowing the government to enact draconian abortion bans that have been unconstitutional for nearly half a century.
Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the case that SCOTUS took up on Monday, is not a subtle threat to Roe. It is, rather, a direct challenge to decades of pro-choice precedent. In 2018, Mississippi passed a law forbidding abortions after 15 weeks. This measure had two purposes: to restrict abortion, yes, but also to contest Supreme Court precedent protecting abortion rights. In Roe and later decisions—most notably Planned Parenthood v. Casey—the Supreme Court held that the Constitution forbids bans on abortion before the fetus has achieved viability. Since there is no doubt that, at 15 weeks, a fetus is not viable, even with the most heroic medical interventions, Mississippi’s law was clearly designed as a vehicle to let SCOTUS reevaluate (and reverse) Roe.
The lower courts understood this plan. Judge James Ho, a very conservative Donald Trump nominee, all but endorsed it when the case came before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Ho urged the Supreme Court to overturn Roe—while acknowledging that, as a lower court judge bound by precedent, he could not uphold Mississippi’s abortion ban. Now the justices have vindicated Ho by accepting Mississippi’s invitation. (The court will hear arguments in the case next fall and issue a decision by the summer of 2022.) It is not difficult to guess what will happen next. But it is worth pointing out three reasons why the Supreme Court appears poised to seize upon Dobbs to eviscerate the constitutional right to abortion.
How do we know the conservatives on the Court are planning to reverse Roe v. Wade?
First, there is no split between the lower courts on the question presented in Dobbs. The Supreme Court typically takes up cases that have divided courts of appeals so the justices can provide a definitive answer that applies nationwide. Here, however, no court has claimed that, under current precedent, a state may outlaw abortions at 15 weeks. Even Ho had to admit that binding precedent “establishes viability as the governing constitutional standard.” There is no reason for the Supreme Court to hear Dobbs unless it wants to abolish this standard, which has been the law of the land for almost 50 years.
Second, Mississippi gave the justices several options for a more limited ruling; its petition to the court included a question that would’ve let the court modify the standard for abortion restrictions without overtly killing off Roe. But the justices rejected that alternative and agreed to consider the central question in the case: “Whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.”
This action suggests that the conservative majority is no longer interested in gradually eroding abortion rights until they are, in reality, nonexistent….
Third, and relatedly, Barrett’s impact on this case cannot be understated. Just last summer, the Supreme Court struck down laws targeting abortion clinics in Louisiana by a 5–4 vote, with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the liberals (with qualifications) to affirm the bottom-line rule that states may not place an “undue burden” on the right to abortion before viability. Less than three months later, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, and Trump put Barrett—a foe of abortion rights—in her seat. By doing so, Trump shored up a far-right five-justice majority that, by all appearances, is committed to ending Roe.
Greg Stohr of Bloomberg via The Washington Post:
Read the whole thing at the WaPo.
According to The New York Times, anti-abortion activists are celebrating: ‘A Great Sense of Inspiration’: Anti-Abortion Activists Express Optimism.
Anti-abortion activists across the country expressed optimism on Monday that they might be on the cusp of achieving a long-held goal of the movement: overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that extended federal protections for abortion.
The Supreme Court announced on Monday morning that it would consider in its next term a case from Mississippi that would ban abortion after 15 weeks of gestation, with narrow exceptions….
It is the first abortion case under the court’s new 6-3 conservative majority, and activists expressed hope that this case would be the one to remove federal protections for the procedure. Such a ruling would give the right to regulate abortions at any point in pregnancy back to the states, many of which in the South and Midwest have imposed tough restrictions.
“There’s a great sense of inspiration across the country right now,” said Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life. “This is the best court we’ve had in my lifetime, and we hope and pray that this is the case to do it.”
In a statement, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List, a national anti-abortion organization, called the court’s move “a landmark opportunity to recognize the right of states to protect unborn children,” and noted that state legislatures have introduced hundreds of bills restricting abortion in this legislative season.
At The Daily Beast, Emily Shugerman writes that Biden is being criticized for not doing enough to protect abortion rights: Abortion Is on SCOTUS’ Radar—and Biden Is Getting Heat.
Abortions rights advocates cheered when Joe Biden was elected, heralding his win as a “seismic shift” and a “welcome change.” Now, with the nationwide right to an abortion on the line, they’re getting a little impatient.
On Monday, the Supreme Court announced it would take on a Mississippi case that has the potential to overturn Roe v Wade, the 1973 decision making abortion legal across the country. If that happens, nearly half of the U.S. would move to prohibit the procedure, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights.
Advocates see the decision to take on the case as a massive threat to abortion rights—and one Biden may not be taking seriously enough.
“He turned his back on people who have abortions as soon as he got into office,” said Renee Bracey Sherman, executive director of the abortion advocacy group We Testify. “What happened this morning at the Supreme Court is what happens when you turn your backs on us and ignore the restrictions we’re facing every single day.”
Pressure on Biden to act more decisively began mounting April 29, when more than 140 organizations called on the administration to prioritize changes to U.S. sexual and reproductive rights law recommended by the United Nations. The day before, nearly 60 women’s rights organizations—including Planned Parenthood and NARAL, which spent tens of millions of dollars to help elect the president—sent a letter to the administration asking them to increase funding for abortion and remove “unnecessary barriers” to access.
“The Biden-Harris administration and Congressional leadership must prioritize these policies for women and women of color,” they wrote, in a letter calling for multiple changes on behalf of American women. “We need to build back better for women and create lasting political, social and economic change.”
Click the link to read the rest.
There is much more news, and I’ll post more links in the comment thread, but to me this is the biggest issue right now. Women are on the verge of losing the rights we have been fighting for since the late 1960s.
As always, treat this as an open thread.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day…
I believe they have since released the information that it is 6 Asian women, 1 white woman and 1 man.
In other news…
You may remember I posted a link to part one of these series…
Here are a few more for you to catch up with…
Make two more points…
Here’s to better times….
Take it easy today.