Happy Friday Sky Dancers!
I’m going to make this entire weekend TV-free. It’s easy for me because all forms of sportsball bore me and I certainly don’t need to see the endless talking heads as it’s been a depressing enough week already. Most movies and tv shows bore me too so my plan is to read and do creative stuff. I’ve got pies to bake, pictures to paint, and music to make!
There were a lot of depressing and insulting things argued during the Mississippi Forced Birth Enslavement and child-trafficking law loved completely by the out-of-touch right-wing Christianists on the court. They must have missed being exposed to the idea that women have moral agency during their important lessons in life sessions. BB covered a lot of it yesterday.
A lot enraged me but none more than the white savior complex of Amy “great white savior” Coney Barret. She seems to feel since she adopted two black children and saved them from whatever hell she imagines with her white nationalist vision and missionary position she can ride to the rescue of all zygotes and embryos everywhere in the country. She feels she knows what’s right and that adoptions are just the answer to everything surrounding a woman’s pregnancy. Adoption justifies the state enslavement of pregnant women resulting in state trafficking of commodity babies. It’s her perfect concoction of everything is better when the rest of us are just the property of white men.
I’m sure as many of you have experience with friends that were adopted and also couples that adopted for a variety of reasons. Even with all the best intentions and best parenting, I’ve never met an adopted person that hasn’t presented some combination of similar emotional and psychological issues. They always feel lacking in a way that I never experienced even though they can be a tremendous variation on that theme. My first real experience came with a young black woman who was adopted by a kind elderly white couple and never quite felt she fit into any community that she met. I’ve always hoped that since multi-racial families are more prevalent that has become less of an issue. I also had a friend who adopted a boy only to find out a procedure could take care of her fertility problems. She then had four kids right after him. His biggest problem was one of his grandfathers continually reminding him that he wasn’t really theirs. Then, another friend had been adopted by a white couple because they wanted her baby. It took years for her to be able to tell her son that he wasn’t her brother. They really couldn’t be bothered with her after the boy was born.
Stuff like this leaves scars. And these are examples of what most people would call successful adoptions. None of the parents in these scenarios are the monsters that many adopted or foster kids get a place with. I won’t even share the trauma I’ve seen an adopted nephew go through even though his parents try everything. Every time a girl breaks up with him he goes through a loss like I’ve never seen in a person. At the moment, I live with someone who was adopted and it’s a variation on this all over. She’s got a form of detachment disorder and just is constantly in therapy over those issues and other personality disorders. She spent time in an orphanage. She loves her parents. They’re annoying in the same way most parents are but again, there are just issues that come along with all that and some people handle it better than others or have been further complicated before they get to their adopted family. It’s a forced birth fairy tale that adoption all rainbows and unicorns for everyone!
These kids didn’t end up in the foster system although a few came from orphanages. I want to share these three articles with you written today. BB shared a few yesterdays. Don’t get me wrong. Adoption isn’t like they used to do which was to dump a girl in an unwed mother’s home, take the child from her, then put the child wherever. But, it still has that feeling that the state shouldn’t be forcing child trafficking and making women nothing but vessels. This is the worst kind of state interference in a woman’s moral agency. It’s autocratic and it’s purely based on one’s interpretation of a few religions. Babies are not commodities. Fetuses cannot live on their own and women do not just play passive host vessels. My last much wanted pregnancy nearly killed both of us and me several times with cancer I developed during it. Every woman has a different story and every child has a different story. The state just can’t write us all off under one big power grab like we’re all property. It’s a woman’s decision to make. PERIOD.
Twice in oral arguments this week for the abortion case that could overturn Roe v. Wade, Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett asked pro-choice advocates: Would banning abortion be so bad if women could just drop their newborns at the fire station for someone else to adopt? She conceded that forced pregnancy and birth are “an infringement on bodily autonomy,” but suggested, misleadingly, that the real choice is between having a later abortion and “the state requiring the woman to go 15, 16 weeks more and then terminate parental rights at the conclusion.”If advocates for abortion rights were so worried that “the consequences of parenting and the obligations of motherhood that flow from pregnancy” would harm women, asked Barrett, who adopted two children from Haiti, “Why don’t the safe-haven laws take care of that problem?”
The attorney for the clinics, Julie Rikelman, reminded Barrett that it’s 75 times more dangerous to give birth in Mississippi than to have a pre-viability abortion, disproportionately threatening the lives of women of color in particular. U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar said citing laws where parents can relinquish their newborns, no questions asked, “overlooks the consequences of forcing upon her the choice of having to decide whether to give a child up for adoption. That itself is its own monumental decision for her.” People who have lived and studied the realities of adoption also had a lot to say about Barrett’s blithe solution — one that drew on a well-established conservative political strategy to put adoption forward as the kinder face of the anti-abortion movement.
The day after oral arguments, I had a conversation with Angela Tucker, a transracial adoptee, host of The Adoptee Next Door, and media consultant; Kate Livingston, Ph.D., a birth parent and educator of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies; Kathryn Joyce, journalist and author of The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption; and sociologist Gretchen Sisson, Ph.D., who studies abortion, adoption, and reproductive decision-making in the United States.
Please go read the questions and answers in this conversation. They are enlightening, to say the least. Elizabeth Spiers writes this for the New York Times: “I Was Adopted. I Know the Trauma It Can Inflict.”
As an adoptee myself, I was floored by Justice Barrett’s assumption that adoption is an accessible and desirable alternative for women who find themselves unexpectedly pregnant. She may not realize it, but what she is suggesting is that women don’t need access to abortion because they can simply go do a thing that is infinitely more difficult, expensive, dangerous and potentially traumatic than terminating a pregnancy during its early stages.
As an adoptive mother herself, Justice Barrett should have some inkling of the complexities of adoption and the toll it can inflict on children, as well as birth mothers. But she speaks as if adoption is some kind of idyllic fairy tale. My own adoption actually was what many would consider idyllic. I was raised by two adoptive parents, Alice and Terry, from the time I was an infant, and grew up in a home where I knew every day that I was loved. A few years ago, I found my biological mother, Maria, and three siblings I didn’t know I had via a DNA test and Facebook.
The first time I spoke to Maria on the phone — she lives in Alabama, not too far from my parents, and I live in Brooklyn — she apologized repeatedly for giving me up and told me she loved me and that I would always be family. “You are blood,” she would say later. I told her, and continue to tell her, every time she brings it up, that the apology is unnecessary. I had a wonderful childhood and I believe she had made the right decision. But she remains heartbroken about the years we missed together.
Both Maria and my mom, Alice, oppose abortion on religious grounds. My mom is white and Southern Baptist; Maria is Hispanic and Pentecostal. Both like to point to me to justify their beliefs, saying that had Maria gotten an abortion, I would not exist. It’s a familiar argument: The anti-abortion movement likes to invoke Nobel Prize winners who might never have materialized, or potential adoptees who might have cured cancer, if they hadn’t been aborted at eight weeks.
Here is my third offering on this topic.
You could make the argument that from Alito on … they all should step down. They were hired by the Republicans to tank Roe and whatever follows that insults their personal religious fetishes. We all have the right to practice our religions but not to force them on others via the state. It’s hard to believe they’re on the Supreme Court and they have such open disdain for the First Amendment of the Constitution.
When should a Supreme Court justice’s deeply held religious beliefs require recusal — that is, that the justice not participate in a particular case? A difficult question, to be sure, but one that Justice Amy Coney Barrett has already answered for herself. And her answer requires her recusal in abortion cases.
The Supreme Court hears arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Wednesday, which challenges the constitutionality of Mississippi’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Under current precedent, the law is unconstitutional — as both the district court and the court of appeals held. Both Roe v. Wade, decided in 1973, and Planned Parenthood of Southeast Pennsylvania v. Casey, decided in 1992, hold that a state cannot ban abortions prior to viability, approximately the 24th week of pregnancy. Mississippi has asked the Supreme Court to overrule those precedents.
To follow her own words in a 1998 law review article, Barrett should have recused herself from deciding this case (and all other abortion cases) if she has any integrity at all.
In “Catholic Judges in Capital Cases,” published in the Marquette Law Review, Barrett (then a law clerk to a federal court of appeals judge) and her co-author address the dilemma that faces devout Catholic judges in capital cases. She writes that such judges are “obliged by oath, professional commitment, and the demands of citizenship to enforce the death penalty,” but they are also “obliged to adhere to their church’s teaching on moral matters.” They are therefore “morally precluded from enforcing the death penalty.”
What’s a Catholic judge to do, then? According to Barrett’s article, the judge must recuse herself. She can neither enforce the death penalty and violate her religious conscience, nor fail to enforce it and violate her oath of office.
And even in a case in which a judge has discretion whether or not to sentence a convicted criminal to death, he cannot resolve to keep an open mind and then claim to have done nothing wrong if he decides not to impose the death penalty. Because, Barrett writes, “A judge who suspends his moral judgment during sentencing sets his conscience aside” and “cuts himself loose from his moral moorings.” That unloosing is itself a sin, she concludes — analogous to “looking lustfully at a woman” and thus committing adultery “in his thoughts.”
Barrett’s bottom line is that an “observant Catholic judge” may not “formally cooperate in bringing about the defendant’s execution.” And for that reason, “if one cannot in conscience affirm a death sentence the proper response would be to recuse oneself.” To do otherwise is to “betray a public trust” by manipulating the law “in order to save lives.”
Well, Well, Well!
Here are a few other links to how Christianists are forcing everyone to follow their distinct takes on Christianity. They sound more like the Taliban every day. And take it from me, as a former Methodist who was frequently called not a real Christian, they will come for all of you.
A North Dakota school district superintendent sent an email that says racial injustice is being pushed by a “political ideology,” called for a “Christ centered Republic” and deemed critical race theory “bigotry cloaked in academic theory,” according to InForum.
The news service, which obtained a copy of the email that was sent to a North Dakota Council of Educational Leaders-run listserv, reported that in Starkweather Public School District Superintendent Larry Volk’s email, he said that it was “time to move away from godless corrupt woke, left-wing ideology and back to the devout Christ centered Republic the founders envisioned.”
Volk also vowed in his email that critical race theory “will never be taught in our district. We will not teach institutionalized bigotry promoted by the left.”
“Racial injustice has been pushed by a political ideology — not a race of people. There is no systemic racism in America created by our Founding Fathers — the racism is the project of the godless Democrat party that has rejected god, family, faith and America and embraced secularism in the form of Marxism,” Volk said in another portion of the email.
“My district will continue to teach the Christian heritage and origins of the American Republic focusing on primary source documents from the founding era,” he added.
In an email to The Hill, Volk defended his email, which included some political commentary regarding a list of historical events, figures and groups, saying that “my goal is simply to teach as accurately as I can.”
Yeah, Jesus the street preacher and social justice warrior would surely not recognize the description of his work here.
My last set of links is basically a group of writers telling Dems to face the culture warriors .head-on and decimate them. As Amanda says below, “fight early and fight often.” There are also some gun fetishists that need to be dealt with.
- Democrats can win the culture wars — but they have to take on the fight early and often. Liberals are already winning the culture wars, which is why the right is so mad. Why won’t Democrats lean into it? by AMANDA MARCOTTE writing for Slate
- .Democrats need to fight the culture war — and win by Will Bunch writing for the Spokesman-Review
- .If Roe Is Reversed, Democrats Need to Be Ready by Ed Kilgore writing for New York Magazine
- Parents of Michigan high school shooting suspect charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter via the Washington Post
- DeSantis proposes a new civilian military force in Florida that he would control by Steve Contorno writing for CNN
In one good piece of news, there’s this. McConnell folded like a cheap umbrella.
In other good news, Donald Trump is still NOT president. We’re just back to fighting old battles like Women’s Rights, Voting Rights, and probably GLBT rights shortly. Have a peaceful and joyful weekend!
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
Well, it’s Monday Sky Dancers!
I’m just going to put these items up and see if you’re as shocked and speechless as I am. The Supreme Court is holding oral arguments on the unconstitutional Texas Abortion Law that’s designed to make women chattel property of whatever state decides that’s their political wish. You can watch it on C-Span 2 where you can see that Clarence Thomas actually can speak from the bench and not just from political fundraisers.
There really never was a day in America when political discourse wasn’t wrapped up in testosterone posing but this tit-for-tat shit is really out there. I just learned about the “Let’s go Brandon” thing and here’s Dan Rather to damn it so I don’t have to fire a synapse thinking about college boys at football games creating a national meanness meme. “A Party Embraces Vulgarity.”
The issue at hand can succinctly be summed up in three words: “Let’s go Brandon.” If you have no idea what I am talking about, consider yourself fortunate. For reasons too mundane to fully outline here, “Let’s go Brandon” has become a favorite chant and rallying cry for many Republicans as a stand-in for another three-word chant that you may also have heard : “F- Joe Biden,” with F-, for the purposes of decorum in this newsletter, standing for a four-letter vulgarity. Search for “Let’s Go Brandon,” and you will start finding it everywhere – all over social media, a song with a ton of downloads on iTunes, at political rallies, and among snickering Republicans in Washington.
In a compelling column in the Washington Post, Dana Milbank uses the phrase to dive into the stark differences between the seriousness and propriety of the two political parties at this moment. He writes:
“Democrats clear the way for passage of a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that will provide broadband Internet and lead-free drinking water to every American, and better roads, bridges and ports for all to enjoy. And Republicans reply: Let’s go Brandon…
Could the contrast be any greater? Half of America’s leaders are trying to govern, and the other half are hurling vulgarities.”
The entire piece is worth the read, but for our discussion here I would like to delve a little deeper into what I think these vulgarities really mean, what motivates them, and what should be our – particularly the media’s – response.
Politics has never been a genteel pastime. The volume of vulgarities I heard covering the White House, Congress, and politics at the state and local level over the decades would rival any comedy special on HBO. In the passionate pursuit of power, discourse, especially behind the closed doors where the real action takes place, is often reduced to words that can be spelled with only four letters, or their adjectival equivalents. And no matter what side of the political divide you might be on, there have likely been moments when you are reading something or listening to an opposing politician speak and you have been moved to at least think of obscenities, if not utter them out loud. There have certainly been many Democratic politicians who have sworn about Republicans. But what we are witnessing here is fundamentally different.
“F- Joe Biden,” or the slightly less explicitly obscene but no more clever “Let’s go Brandon,” is about much more than political passion or anger. It’s about weaponizing the vulgar dehumanization of our entire democratic – small d – experiment. Joe Biden is not only a person; he is the President of the United States, whether your tinfoil-shrouded conspiracy brain cares to recognize that fact or not. How many times have we heard Republicans sanctimoniously preach about how Democrats don’t “respect” the office of the presidency for such things as President Obama not saluting properly or wearing a tan suit?
Not to be outdone, The Wall Street Journal Op-Ed page which is a favorite thing of those seeking to line rat cages is pearl-clutching over 5 young people dressed up as the Torch Terrorists in Charlottesville and stood in silent ironic protest in front of the Trumpist running for governor in Virginia’s campaign bus. Wow, they really let the Lincoln Project get to them this time. “A Dirty Campaign Trick in Virginia. The Lincoln Project plays the race card in a false-flag operation.” As usual, there are two right-wing conspiracy theory signals dog-whistling from the headline. Everything surrounding racism is playing “the race card” and I can’t even figure how this is a “false-flag operation,” but hey, get down with your crazy stupid selves! How long do we have to wait before we read the next attempt to label it “virtue-signaling”?
Democrats routinely play the race card when they’re worried about losing an election, and that’s exactly what the operatives from the Lincoln Project did last week in staging a dirty campaign trick against surging GOP candidate Glenn Youngkin.
It started Friday when a reporter for a local NBC affiliate tweeted a photo of four men and one woman dressed in white shirts, khakis and sunglasses and holding tiki torches. They were standing in front of Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin’s bus during a campaign stop in Virginia.
“These men approached @GlennYoungkin’s bus as it pulled up saying what sounded like, ‘We’re all in for Glenn.” tweeted Elizabeth Holmes. The tiki torches were meant to tie Mr. Youngkin to the infamous torchlit, white nationalist march in Charlottesville in 2017.
Twitter exploded, with various people claiming to have identified people in the tiki-torch photo as Democrats. They hadn’t been positively ID’d by the time we went to press on Sunday.
But as evidence grew that this was a setup, the Lincoln Project finally fessed up. It presented its attempt to play the white supremacist card as an exercise in civic virtue, saying it was “our way of reminding Virginians” about Charlottesville, “the Republican Party’s embrace of those values,” and Mr. Youngkin’s “failure to condemn it.” This is a slur against Mr. Youngkin and the Virginia GOP.
So, this is all pretty radically nuts because the latest craziness by the Republicans in Virginia is all about that Critical Race Theory nuttiness. Juan William states it plainly. ‘Parents’ rights’ is code for white race politics’. I remember living through this same craziness in 1992 when the code word was “multiculturalism” which basically means if it wasn’t spat out by a white christianist it shouldn’t be taught to children.
After white supremacists spilled blood in defense of keeping up Confederate statues in 2017, the GOP candidate for governor of Virginia, Ed Gillespie, said the monuments should stay up as a matter of heritage and history.
His TV advertising featured threatening images of Latino gangs, labeled illegal immigrants, involved in murder and rape.
The racially loaded “Culture Wars” campaign, straight from then-President Trump’s playbook, gave Gillespie a push, but he ultimately lost the race to Democrat Ralph Northam.
Now Virginia Republicans are back with a new and improved “Culture Wars” campaign for 2021. The closing argument is once again full of racial division — but this time it is dressed up as a defense of little children.
The rallying cry is “Parents’ Rights.”
It is a campaign to stop classroom discussion of Black Lives Matter protests or slavery because it could upset some children, especially white children who might feel guilt.
And this time, the Trump-imitating Republicans think they have struck political gold.
Unlike their earlier defense of Confederate monuments, the “Parents’ Rights” campaign message at first glance looks to have zero to do with race.
That puts Democrats on the defensive. They are in the uncomfortable position of calling the attention of suburban white moms to divisive racial politics being used by Republican Glenn Youngkin’s campaign.
Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate, calls the Republican message a “racist dog whistle.”
Still, that race–that will be determined tomorrow–is a dead heat. This is from the NYT: “In the Final Days Before Virginia Votes, Both Sides Claim Momentum.”
The high-stakes race for governor of Virginia entered its final stretch with Glenn Youngkin and Terry McAuliffe trading accusations of sowing division, as voters appeared closely divided over returning a Democrat to office or electing a Republican to lead their state for the first time in more than a decade.
The size and atmosphere of dueling events during the last weekend of campaigning before Election Day on Tuesday reflected the trends in the most recent polls. Mr. Youngkin, the Republican candidate, greeted crowds of more than 1,000, while Mr. McAuliffe, the Democrat, hustled through sparsely attended events from morning to night.
Mr. McAuliffe, who served one term as governor from 2014 to 2018, has displayed a rising sense of urgency lately, dispatching some of the Democratic Party’s biggest stars to campaign for him and push people to vote early. In 11 hours on Saturday, Mr. McAuliffe traveled more than 120 miles, making eight stops in six cities amid a whirlwind day of campaigning in which he urged supporters not to be complacent.
“We are substantially leading on the early vote, but we cannot take our foot off the gas,” Mr. McAuliffe told a crowd on Saturday in Norfolk, where he met with labor leaders who were planning to spend the day knocking on doors.
Meanwhile, The Bulwark’s Tim Miller just had to put this headline in front of me today: “Donald Trump Is Now the Odds-On Favorite to Be President in 2025 .” I’m gagging over here.
So, Donald Trump is now the odds-on favorite to be president of the United States in 2025.
I know that lede sentence was also the headline, but I wanted you to read it one more time just to let it really settle in the ol’ noggin before pressing forward.
The twice-impeached, disgraced loser who was schlonged in the 2020 election, tried to stay in power against the will of the people, and then came ten cowardly Republican senators away from being disqualified from ever running for office again, is now more likely than any other person in the world to take the next oath of office on the Capitol steps on January 20, 2025.
How is that for some weird shit?
Now I’m sure some will roll their eyes when this headline comes across the Twitter feed. Attribute this article to my raging Trump Derangement Syndrome or The Bulwark’s Cady Heron-level obsession with Mar-a-Lago’s in-house wedding toastmaster.
But this ain’t about my compulsions. It’s the actual, real-world reality being presented by those who have the most skin in the game.
Both the major off-shore gambling quants and the online trading markets have moved in Mr. Trump’s favor in the past couple weeks.
Here’s some more crazy shit that I’m speechless about.
- Olivia Beavers / Politico: ‘They’re probably going to put us back in power’: GOP basks in Dem discord
- Bill Schneider / The Hill: 2022 and ‘the passion gap’ — why Republicans are more fired up
- David A. Graham / The Atlantic: Josh Mandel Might Be Craven Enough to Win
- Terry Jones / Issues & Insights: I&I/TIPP Poll: Just 42% Now Think Biden Is ‘Mentally Sharp
- Sarah Rumpf / Mediaite: Matt Gaetz Jokes About Blowing Up Capitol Metal Detectors With Explosives (UPDATE: Lauren Boebert Tweets ‘I’ll Bring the Tannerite!’)
Why does the press keep trying to incite a civil war instead of elucidating the danger in all of this? Rad idea below Atlantic writer suggests Never Trumperz support DeSantis. (Connor Friedsdorf warning) What drug is this guy on? Or Read this shake-down in New York Magazine describing DeSantis worship.
I’m going to go play music and eat chocolate now. Hope you have a great day and that you’re not as depressed and confused about all this is and derp as I am.
I had to steal this image from my blogging buddy Peter Athas Get his take on that TNR article here.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?