Monday Reads: In Other News

dancing-skeletonsHappy Halloween!

I thought I’d cover a few interesting stories in lieu of dragging too much of this crazy election into your feeds.  I thought I’d first focus on some interesting women’s news since we’re about to shatter the ultimate glass ceiling here in the USA.  Bill Moyers recommends this study by the VERA Justice Institute on Women and Jails in an era of reform.

Since 1970, there has been a nearly five-fold increase in the number of people in U.S. jails—the approximately 3,000 county or municipality-run detention facilities that primarily hold people arrested but not yet convicted of a crime. Despite recent scrutiny from policymakers and the public, one aspect of this growth has received little attention: the shocking rise in the number of women in jail.

Women in jail are the fastest growing correctional population in the country—increasing 14-fold between 1970 and 2014. Yet there is surprisingly little research on why so many more women wind up in jail today. This report examines what research does exist on women in jail in order to begin to reframe the conversation to include them. It offers a portrait of women in jail, explores how jail can deepen the societal disadvantages they face, and provides insight into what drives women’s incarceration and ways to reverse the trend.

largeReuters reports that Abortion by prescription is now used as much as surgical prescriptions.  What does this mean to our right to privacy and protection of our constitutional right to decide for ourselves?

American women are ending pregnancies with medication almost as often as with surgery, marking a turning point for abortion in the United States, data reviewed by Reuters shows.

The watershed comes amid an overall decline in abortion, a choice that remains politically charged in the United States, sparking a fiery exchange in the final debate between presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

When the two medications used to induce abortion won U.S. approval 16 years ago, the method was expected to quickly overtake the surgical option, as it has in much of Europe. But U.S. abortion opponents persuaded lawmakers in many states to put restrictions on their use.

Although many limitations remain, innovative dispensing efforts in some states, restricted access to surgical abortions in others and greater awareness boosted medication abortions to 43 percent of pregnancy terminations at Planned Parenthood clinics, the nation’s single largest provider, in 2014, up from 35 percent in 2010, according to previously unreported figures from the nonprofit.

Jonathan Chait–writing for NYMag–begins the dissection of what this dose of authoritarianism we’ve seen this year means for the future of the GOP.

Approaching the 2016 election from this historical perspective, in which Trump’s every boast, tweet, and threat disappears into the ether, may at first blush sound like a relief. It is the opposite. Trump is an extreme event, but Trumpism is no fluke. Its weaknesses are fleeting, and its strengths likely to endure. Far from an organization that is “probably headed toward a civil war” — as the Washington Post recently put it, summing up a rapidly congealing consensus — the Republican Party is instead more unified than one might imagine, as well as more dangerous. The accommodations its leaders have made to their erratic and delirious nominee underscore a capacity to go further and lower to maintain their grip on power than anybody understood. More consequentially, the horrors Trump has unleashed are the product of tectonic forces in American politics. Trump has revealed the convergence of two movements more extreme than anything in the free world that may yet threaten the democratic character most Americans take as their birthright.

h8We’ve not only seen a pungent form of authoritarianism but we’ve also seen racism and misogyny on levels that are hard to take.  An autistic, black young teen accidentally veered off a race in NY and was treated to nightmare.

Chase Coleman, an autistic ninth-grader at Corcoran High School, was running in a cross country race in Rochester when a middle-aged stranger attacked him.

The man got out of his car, shoved Chase down in the road and yelled “get out of here” before driving off, according to witnesses.

A few days after the Oct. 14 incident, the nonverbal 15-year-old runner handed his uniform back to his coach and quit the team.

Now Chase’s mother, Clarise Coleman, wants to know why Rochester authorities refuse to press charges against the man who admitted pushing Chase.

She fears the answer is this: Chase is black and disabled, and his attacker was white.

Whatever the reason, 57-year-old Martin MacDonald of suburban Pittsford was not charged. Rochester City Court Judge Caroline Morrison denied a requested arrest warrant charging MacDonald for second-degree harassment, despite Coleman’s desire to press charges.

The harassment charge is only a violation, with a maximum jail sentence of 15 days. But Coleman is outraged that authorities won’t seek at least that much justice for her son.

“If that man had been black and Chase had been white, and that (police) report went in, he’d have been in jail,” she said.

We’ve got our own Nightmare before Halloween here in Sabine Parish, Louisiana.  The KKK is actively getting out the vote.  This is from Lamar White, Jr. and his blog CenLamar.images

Shortly before midnight on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016, members of the largest white supremacist hate group in the country, the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, distributed small zip-locked packets on the windshields of vehicles parked along the sleepy streets and in the driveways of Many, Louisiana.

Many, the seat of Sabine Parish, is a tiny town of less than 3,000 residents tucked away in the farthest corner of West Central Louisiana, within shouting distance of the Texas border.

According to the most recent Census, the town’s racial demographics are split almost evenly: 48.18% white and 47.42% African-American, and their most famous hometown hero is Charlie Joiner, an African-American and a record-breaking NFL wide receiver who was inducted into pro-football’s Hall of Fame and who was once praised by Coach Bill Walsh as “the most intelligent, the smartest, the most calculating receiver the game has ever known.”

Two days ago, members of a Ku Klux Klan organization (it’s not worth using the adjective “fringe,” because all KKK groups deliberately embrace their fringe identities) targeted Charlie Joiner’s hometown and, during the dead of the night, distributed these packets, according to multiple sources in Many and in the surrounding area:

Some highly inappropriate Halloween costumes have been rocking universities this weekend. An Arkansas college student was expelled over a black-face Bill Cosby costume.   Fans at a football game between Wisconsin and Nebraska used lynching to display their dislike of Clinton and the President Obama and support of Trump.  That was extremely appalling.

Wisconsin hosted Nebraska in Madison on Saturday night. In the stands at Camp Randall Stadium, one fan dressed in a Donald Trump mask, and that fan’s companion dressed in two masks: one for Hillary Clinton, one for President Obama.

The fan in the Trump mask appears to have depicted himself lynching his partner in the Obama and Clinton masks.

This election year seriously needs to be over ASAP.

Here’s some links for those of you interested in following the latest hooplah with the FBI and the bomb thrown by Senator Harry Reid yesterday.

From Politico: Poll: Comey’s bombshell changes few votes vintage-halloween-postcard-image-graphicsfairy

The race for the White House is tight, but it has not been radically changed by the FBI director’s bombshell announcement last week.  —  Hillary Clinton has a slim three-point lead over Donald Trump one week before Election Day …

From HillaryClinton.com:  An open letter from Former Prosecutors and other high ranking Justice officials.

It is out of our respect for such settled tenets of the United States Department of Justice that we are moved to express our concern with the recent letter issued by FBI Director James Comey to eight Congressional Committees.  Many of us have worked with Director Comey; all of us respect him.  But his unprecedented decision to publicly comment on evidence in what may be an ongoing inquiry just eleven days before a presidential election leaves us both astonished and perplexed. We cannot recall a prior instance where a senior Justice Department official—Republican or Democrat—has, on the eve of a major election, issued a public statement where the mere disclosure of information may impact the election’s outcome, yet the official acknowledges the information to be examined may not be significant or new.

Director Comey’s letter is inconsistent with prevailing Department policy, and it breaks with longstanding practices followed by officials of both parties during past elections.  Moreover, setting aside whether Director Comey’s original statements in July were warranted, by failing to responsibly supplement the public record with any substantive, explanatory information, his letter begs the question that further commentary was necessary.

From The Hill :  Reid: FBI has ‘explosive information’ about Trump, Russia

Harry Reid is alleging that the FBI has “explosive information” about a connection between Donald Trump  —  and the Russian government, suggesting that federal investigators have unveiled damning new information about the Republican presidential nominee.

I’m sure there’s a lot to be said still about all of this and the details coming out from the victim who alleges Trump raped her at 13.   

Remember, tis the season for Nasty women!  And Nasty women vote!!  Bad Hombres need to vote too!!!!

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?