Friday Feminism – Abortion & Reproductive Rights, Education and Good Cop/Bad Cop

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The Issues of 2016: Hillary on Police Brutality

Hillary Clinton, in August, 2014, responding to the shooting death of Michael Brown:

…Behind the dramatic, terrible pictures on television are deep challenges that will be with them and with us long after the cameras move on. This is what happens when the bonds of trust and respect that hold any community together fray. Nobody wants to see our streets look like a war zone, not in America. We are better than that.

In 1985, the Supreme Court held in Tennessee v. Garner that police cannot employ deadly force at their own discretion:

The use of deadly force to prevent the escape of all felony suspects, whatever the circumstances, is constitutionally unreasonable. It is not better that all felony suspects die than that they escape. Where the suspect poses no immediate threat to the officer and no threat to others, the harm resulting from failing to apprehend him does not justify the use of deadly force to do so. It is no doubt unfortunate when a suspect who is in sight escapes, but the fact that the police arrive a little late or are a little slower afoot does not always justify killing the suspect. A police officer may not seize an unarmed, nondangerous suspect by shooting him dead.

In the past year, horrifying acts of police brutality have been flooding the media. The violence has shed light on what many consider to be systemic racism in today’s society. Others insist there must be some other root cause behind the increase of predominantly white police officers killing predominantly black men.

But after hearing this story over and over – the personal details of the people involved change, but the story’s plot doesn’t – we as a country need to reevaluate what we are doing. In most of these cases, the officers in question will never admit that racism was a motivating factor in their use of deadly force. But the reality is that this much violence is not coincidental. In moving forward, and to honor those whose lives were ended, a real change has to take place.

Hillary Clinton believes in facing reality, acknowledging that there is indeed racism in the mix:

We have to come to terms with some hard truths about race and justice in America…

And then, there is the sad reality is that in many of our communities, there is no reason to trust authorities.

We cannot ignore the inequities that persist in our justice system, inequities that undermine our most deeply held values of fairness and equality.

Specific solutions to police violence that Clinton has voiced support for include:

But the most important piece of the solution is rebuilding, together.

The most important thing that each of us can do is to try even harder to see the world through our neighbor’s eyes, to imagine what it is like to walk in their shoes, to share their pain and their hopes and their dreams… These tragedies did not happen in some far away place. They didn’t happen to some other people. These are our streets, our children, our fellow Americans and our grief.

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The Real Cost of Trump’s Immigration Policy

Donald Trump, on the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants:

Deport all of those who are, you know, bleeding from wherever.

Ok, that quote’s made-up. Here’s his real quote:

We’re going to keep the families together, but they have to go. They have to go … we either have a country, or we don’t have a country.

The Donald is supposed to be such a smart businessman (if we ignore his 4 commercial bankruptcies). You’d think the real costs associated with deporting over 11 million undocumented immigrants would be important to a vulture capitalist.

The facts from the Center for American Progress:

Last week’s Gallup poll reaffirmed what we have known for a long time: The vast majority of Americans want sensible solutions to immigration policy, with 65 percent of Americans believing that unauthorized immigrants should be allowed to get legal status and a pathway to citizenship. A small minority—only 19 percent—believe that unauthorized immigrants should be deported from the United States.

What would it cost if this fringe minority of Americans got their way, and the United States took the draconian step of deporting 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants from the country?

Based on previous analysis from the Center for American Progress, a mass deportation strategy would cost an average of $10,070 per person, for a total of $114 billion to remove 11.3 million people.


While $114 billion represents a startling sum of money, it is only the direct cost of physically deporting unauthorized immigrants. The cost to the overall economy would likely be far more. The conservative American Action Forum, or AAF, has argued that it would take 20 years to accomplish a mass deportation program, with a full cost between $420 billion and $620 billion.


Beyond being prohibitively costly and morally unsustainable, removing so many individuals from the country—and from the labor force—would devastate the nation: The Bipartisan Policy Center calculates that deporting all unauthorized immigrants would shrink the labor force by 6.4 percent over two decades, which AAF estimates would decrease U.S. gross domestic product, or GDP, by a full $1.6 trillion.

On the flip side, putting unauthorized immigrants on a pathway to citizenship—which two-thirds of Americans support—would add a cumulative $1.2 trillion to GDP over a decade, increase the earnings of all Americans by $625 billion, and create an average of 145,000 new jobs each year. When it comes to the way forward for immigration policy, the choice is clear.

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The Not-So-“Evangelical” Embrace Trump

Surprise! “Evangelicals” are just plain old Republicans masquerading as Christians, and my friends, it seems the, ahem,  “Godly” are embracing Donald Trump’s candidacy. Pastor Jeremiah Johnson had this to say:

jerehiah johnson“The Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, ‘Trump shall become My trumpet to the American people, for he possesses qualities that are even hard to find in My people these days. Trump does not fear man nor will he allow deception and lies to go unnoticed. I am going to use him to expose darkness and perversion in America like never before, but you must understand that he is like a bull in a china closet.

Many will want to throw him away because he will disturb their sense of peace and tranquility, but you must listen through the bantering to discover the truth that I will speak through him. I will use the wealth that I have given him to expose and launch investigations searching for the truth. Just as I raised up Cyrus to fulfill My purposes and plans, so have I raised up Trump to fulfill my purposes and plans prior to the 2016 election.’”

Yeah, he’s obviously off his meds. Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody writes:

DavidBrody“Trump’s ability to cut through the clutter and paint the world in ‘absolutes’ attracts quite a few evangelical voters. Remember, evangelicals hold true to their ‘biblical absolutes,’ so to see a person like Trump let it rip and tell it like it is becomes a somewhat endearing quality to some evangelicals. Trump takes hits for his boldness, and evangelicals take hits from society for their biblical boldness, too.”

Their so-called “boldness” consists of using religion as a club to get what they want. Problem is, the world is not made up of absolutes. Call me crazy, but a bloviating ignoramus whose “absolutes” include insulting women, war heroes, and immigrants hardly seems “Christian” to me.   Then there’s “Evangelical” David Lane:

david lane“Trump is tapping into deep-seated anger in America, a nation founded by Christians ‘for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith. He’s tapping into something at the grassroots, precinct level of America. America is starving for moral, principled leadership. I hope that Donald Trump brings that.”

Yeah, that’s EXACTLY what Trump is known for; let’s talk about Trump’s “moral, principled leadership” for a moment, shall we? As Red State reminded its readers last month:

In 1997, Trump tried to evict an elderly widow [via eminent domain] to expand an Atlantic City casino…

In 2010 he was at it again, this time in Scotland, where David Milne refused to sell his home for a Trump golf course project. In an act of spoiled-rich-guy-childishness, Trump had a fence put up around Milne’s home, then sent him a bill for half of the cost. This hideous fence:

trump fence

He didn’t sell. Now let’s look at a few of Donald Trump’s “moral leadership” type quotes, courtesy of Politico:

trumpWomen? “You have to treat ’em like shit.” (New York magazine, Nov. 9, 1992)…

“You know, it really doesn’t matter what they write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.” (Esquire, 1991)

Jesus facepalm“For many years I’ve said that if someone screws you, screw them back. When somebody hurts you, just go after them as viciously and as violently as you can.” (How to Get Rich, 2004)

“The hardest thing for me about raising kids has been finding the time. I know friends who leave their business so they can spend more time with their children, and I say, ‘Gimme a break!’” (New York magazine, Dec. 13, 2004)

The Right has hijacked the “Evangelical” label to bolster their calls for “biblical” discrimination and bigotry, so I guess in that respect, Trump is their perfect candidate. Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, and Mike Huckabee, anyone of whom should have been “Evangelicals” chosen candidate, have ultimately been sidelined.

Now they’re jumping on the Trump train, backing a man whose pronouncements are coarse, ambitions are purely selfish, politics are, well… simple-minded, and grasp of reality is questionable. Then again, “Evangelicals” embrace phony “historians” like David Barton, nut job preachers fomenting civil war like Jim Bakker, and protectively cloak white supremacists within their folds. In that respect, endorsing a Trump candidacy is hardly an aberration. If only true Christians had as loud a voice as the Far Right’s “Evangelicals”.

As Ryan Gear wrote at On Faith:

… presidential candidate Donald Trump is teaching us a lesson from history. We are witnessing for ourselves how overtly racial scapegoating mixed with economic pain can propel a candidate to frontrunner status.

Candidate Trump is inadvertently revealing that when followers of Jesus fail to love our neighbors as ourselves, we allow ourselves to be exploited by people who profit from our prejudices. Ignoring the humanity and needs of others is not only sinful, it is economically harmful to everyone, including us.

Donald Trump is teaching Christians what happens when we forsake the Social Gospel.

Mr. Gear quotes Robert Ingersoll in his argument to the faithful:

“They knew no better, but I do not propose to follow the example of a barbarian because he was honestly a barbarian.”


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Video Clips of the Week

Emily’s List: Jeb Bush rewriting history on the illegal war in Iraq and the withdrawal

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The President’s Weekly Address: Continuing Work To Improve Community Policing

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Cuba: The American Embassy Is Open for Business


Gunnery Sgt. Mike East, Master Gunnery Sgt. Jim Tracy and Lance Cpl. Larry Morris all pose for a picture at the U.S. Embassy in Havana in 1960.

Yesterday’s historic step toward normalizing relationship between America and Cuba was most auspicious due to the attendance by three marine attendees. In 1961, these same servicemen took down and ceremoniously folded our flag. 54 years later this same trio of veterans folded the “Stars & Stripes” in military tradition. The flag is then handed off to active-duty Marines, once again raised high over our embassy.
Partisan naysayers, opponents to diplomacy purposefully ignore these baby steps potentially will lead to progressive change. America followed similar protocols in their efforts of re-establishing relationships with China and Russia. Strengthening the civilian population with vast personal interactions from the international community, weakens the power of authoritarian governments. No greater impetus than 55 years of isolation from moving forward, will provoke revolution in the Cuban people against the Castro government.  YouTube Preview Image

Insisting upon indefinite despair, a poor quality of life to substantiate the principles of Cuban asylum seekers living comfortably in the US remains unpalatable and unjust. Unfortunate for exiles, clinging to martyrdom is rapidly expiring, no excuses. The opportunity for expats to aid their home abandoned a half-century ago is here. Will fifty plus years of pedantic Cuban-American angst, fidelity and rhetoric crystallize into fortuity or obstruction, we will see.

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Friday Feminism – Animals & the Environment, Good Cop/Bad Cop and Gun Violence

Abortion & Reproductive Rights

♀ Oklahoma Court Blocks Medication Abortion Restriction

♀ Donald Trump Defends Planned Parenthood – Two points. First, the title should have been “Donald Trump Defends Planned Parenthood- Sort Of”, since he’s still a member of the forced birth crowd. Second, I find it mildly amusing that HuffPo filed this under ‘entertainment’.

♀ Tuscaloosa Abortion Clinic Can Reopen, Federal Court Rules

♀ 11-year-old gives birth to girl in Paraguay – This is what we’re headed toward if the pro birth crowd has it’s way- traumatized children having children.

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Character: Either you have it or you don’t

The late Pulitzer Prize Chicago columnist, Mike Royko, equal opportunity ‘shot taker’ was a voice for the working class. A ‘Wind City’ news icon who possessed hearty, admirable qualities, others sought to mimic and embraced.

harder to be a liberal than conservative









Liberals and their policies reflect a benevolent, humane character, while conservatives, are demonstratively deficient and proudly absent a conscience.

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Former President Carter Confirms Cancer Condition

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter attends a news conference in New York November 5, 2013. Carter was joined at the news conference by Ian Read, chief executive officer of Pfizer, to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the International Trachoma Initiative (ITI), an independent not-for-profit program dedicated to the elimination of blinding trachoma which is a public health concern.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter attends a news conference in New York November 5, 2013.

Former President Jimmy Carter (D) announced his surgery several days ago removed a cancerous growth from the liver, has spread according to doctors at Emory University Hospital. Before everyone counts this heroic and remarkable, living legend done for, know that cancer treatment, like the LEFT, has progressed dramatically.

Today, physicians perceive the optimal method of therapy is managing cancer as a condition. Similar to the regiment and approach folks diagnosed with hypertension or diabetes live. Doctors and patients assume a more cooperative dynamic with individuals adopting greater administration in their own care. Support from family, friends along with open communication is key to a better quality of life.

Jimmy-Carter as potus


So rest assured, with a nation of well wishers, admirers behind him, I know Mr. Carter will do well. For he is loved.

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The Issues of 2016: Hillary & the First GOP Debate

Since I’ve been focusing on the Clinton 2016 campaign, I’d like to write about a couple of the comments that were made in the Republican debate last Thursday which mention her.

First, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida discounted her qualifications with this statement:

“I would add to that that this election cannot be a resume competition. It’s important to be qualified, but if this election is a resume competition, then Hillary Clinton’s gonna be the next president, because she’s been in office and in government longer than anybody else running here tonight.”

As someone who has recently been in the job market, I’m pretty aware of the fact that when a company is looking for a person to fill an employment vacancy, they review the qualifications of those individuals who wish to be considered for the position. When companies decide to employ personal friends rather than qualified candidates, things can go downhill.

Why exactly should the American public not look at who is most qualified when choosing the next president? How do republicans think we should choose our elected officials? We need to base our choices – who we want to fill this job – on solid, factual, and proven records. It seems like Senator Rubio realizes that Hillary Clinton has a proven record on which she can base her candidacy. Since he doesn’t have the ability to run his campaign on actual achievements or merit, he goes on to say:

“If I’m our nominee, how is Hillary Clinton gonna lecture me about living paycheck to paycheck? I was raised paycheck to paycheck. How is she — how is she gonna lecture me — how is she gonna lecture me about student loans? I owed over $100,000 just four years ago.”

Actually, instead of lecturing you, Senator Rubio, Hillary has come up with a plan for college students. Hillary wants every American who wants a college education to have one, at a price they can afford.

“… more and more, paying for college is actually pushing people’s dreams further out of reach. And that’s just wrong. It’s a betrayal of everything college is supposed to represent — and everything families have worked so hard to achieve…we need to make some big changes. We need to transform how much higher education costs — and how those costs get paid. For too long, families have been left to bear the burden of crushing costs, underinvestment, and too little accountability.”

Hillary’s plan, called the New College Compact includes these components:

  • No student has to borrow money to pay for tuition at a public college.
  • Schools must control costs and show accountability
  • States have obligations to invest in higher education
  • More federal investment in education
  • No more government profits from student loans
  • Students who currently have debt from loans can refinance them, at a lower rate
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Later in the debate, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker commented on a woman’s right to choose and Planned Parenthood:

“I’m pro-life, I’ve always been pro-life, and I’ve got a position that I think is consistent with many Americans out there in that I believe that that is an unborn child that’s in need of protection out there, and I’ve said many a time that that unborn child can be protected, and there are many other alternatives that can also protect the life of the mother. That’s been consistently proven. Unlike Hillary Clinton, who has a radical position in terms of support for Planned Parenthood, I defunded Planned Parenthood more than four years ago…”

First of all, he is wrong. In some cases, there are not alternatives. In fact, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (after a separate incident) made the following statement:

“…abortions are necessary in a number of circumstances to save the life of a woman or to preserve her health. Unfortunately, pregnancy is not a risk-free life event, particularly for many women with chronic medical conditions. Despite all of our medical advances, more than 600 women die each year from pregnancy and childbirth-related reasons right here in the US. In fact, many more women would die each year if they did not have access to abortion to protect their health or to save their lives. These inaccurate comments are yet another reason why The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ message to politicians is unequivocal: Get out of our exam rooms.”

With regards to his defunding Planned Parenthood, Governor Walker should be aware that Planned Parenthood is an often-used and much-needed resource for many women, who use it for a variety of reasons. In Wisconsin’s 22 Planned Parenthood clinics, services available include STD testing, treatment, and vaccinations, pregnancy testing, access to birth control, cancer screenings, patient education, and even… men’s health care.

These health services are used, in his state alone, by around 61,000 people every year. Since only three of the 22 clinics in Wisconsin offer abortion services, people must be accessing these centers for their other services, too. And as for abortions: a woman should be making life-changing health care decisions with the advice of her doctor – not because of a political mandate.

People have a right to accessible health care. Hillary Clinton supports Planned Parenthood, because everyone deserves access to critical and life-saving health care services.

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Attacks on Hillary Clinton, Obama, and democratic principles continued on through the rest of the debate, and will surely continue for the entire election season. I would love to respond to each inaccurate claim made by the ten men who were on that stage. Instead, I’ll just say this: learn about the candidates and check the facts. Expect relevant answers, not sentimental lines and vague, empty promises. And, VOTE!

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Trump: Same GOP Suit, Bigger Ass

ingrahamAppearing on Fox “News” Sunday, Laura Ingraham was asked about Donald Trump’s lead in the polls. Her theory is: “20-30%” of Republicans  are “so livid” at the GOP they’re backing Donald Trump because,

“…he’s saying things… that pretty much no one else is saying.”

trumpIs she claiming Trump’s bombastic, racist, denigration of  Mexicans is something new for Republicans? Sure, he may be louder, but one would be hard pressed to name a group that hasn’t been maligned by her party.

They’ve called Mexicans “wetbacks“, Blacks “lazy“, women “sluts“, Asians “Hmongs” (a racial slur), Jews “Hymie boys“, Gays “pedophiles“, Native Americans “wards of the federal government”; let’s see, am I forgetting anyone? Oh yes, they’ve called the poor “parasites“, the disabled “drains on society“, Muslims “a cancer“, Teachers “thugs“… and as for this President well, Doug Marquardt has been documenting their endless racist attacks against him since the day he took office.

But hey, they all wear flag pins…

GOP debate

so they must love America… right?

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