Rick Perry Only Objects to Drunken Democrats

rick perry boy scout

Rick Perry is still the Governor of Texas. Rick Perry continues to campaign for President. Rick Perry is still under indictment for abuse of his position as Governor.
In a previous post I explained why Rick Perry should take this indictment seriously. He may have had the authority to remove Rosemary Lehmberg, but he didn’t have the authority to threaten her with cutting off funding for her unit if she didn’t resign. The difference in that action by Perry is the difference between proper discretionary authority and abuse of authority. Perry could simply cut the funding of the unit for any reason, except abuse of his position. By threatening to cut funds UNLESS Lehmberg resigned, is an example of “abuse.” Perry has boldly, and stupidly, declared that he would do the same thing again, if given the chance. He said:
“I said early on I would veto those dollars as long as they had someone in office who I had lost confidence in.”

rick perry mug shot

Perry still doesn’t get it! Perry has discretion to veto funds for any reason EXCEPT to coerce an elected official to resign. He’s still declaring that he was entitled to do it.

rick perry scared

My conclusion was echoed by Rachel Maddow and both major Texas papers in Dallas and Houston.

go to jail

However the recent revelations about Rick Perry’s tolerance for drunken behavior of Republicans, sheds new light on the indictment of Perry. The Dallas Morning News reports that Perry has hired Republicans with a history of DWI, and promoted them after being arrested on new charges of DWI. Here are the Republicans:

1. Wayne Roberts:
Wayne Roberts, who now heads up the governor’s signature creation, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, was convicted of driving while intoxicated in 1990 and 2006. He also was fined in 2000 on a charge of public intoxication in Virginia.
Perry made Roberts budget director in December 2001 and appointed him to the State Pension Review Board in 2009. The board of the cancer fund, known as CPRIT, appointed Roberts to his current position. As a result of his positions, Roberts oversees billions of state dollars.

So you might think that the hiring and promotion of Roberts, after his repeated DWI charges, might be distinguishable by Perry, as Lehmberg was a District Attorney, charged with enforcing the law, and Roberts was only responsible for distribution of billions of state dollars. In fact, Perry’s spokesperson, Travis Considine, felt that was an important distinction. He said:
“Wayne Roberts is not an elected official whose responsibility it is to oversee an agency responsible for law enforcement, nor is there any evidence that he was abusive to law enforcement officials.”

That argument might be persuasive if Perry has acted consistently with Republican District Attorneys. He did not.
2. Rick Harrison:

Republican District Attorney from Kaufman County – Mr. Harrison was charged with his second DWI after going the wrong way down a street and hitting another car. He was found guilty in 2011.

3. Terry McEachern:

Republican District Attorney from Swisher County –He was found guilty of DWI in 2003, and was responsible for the wrongful conviction of 40 Black residents who Rick Perry pardoned.

The unmistakable message is that Rick Perry is tolerant of alcoholism that rises to the level of DWI convictions in Republicans, but not Democrats. It seems that the critical differences in the cases is not the position held by the public servant, the damage or harm caused while intoxicated, or even whether this was the first time the public servant had been found guilty of an alcohol related offense. The difference seems to be the political affiliation of the intoxicated person. Perry has a history of tolerating DWI offenses in Republicans. He has a history of intolerance of DWI of Democrats. It is unnecessary for the prosecutor to establish “motive” for Rick Perry to abuse his authority in the case of threats made against Lehmberg. However the clear evidence establishes not only Perry’s abuse of his authority, but his reason for doing it.


guilty handcuffs

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Speak, Behave, LEGISLATE like a Democrat, and You Might WIN!

Yes, the midterm’s was another devastating blow against democracy. Two weeks of licking our wounds and reappraising the meaning of this shove by the electorate, Democrats must cease passing the blame and lay responsibility on faulty mechanisms and flailing strategies. We’ve experienced, read too many post-mortem critiques in prior elections, but numbly repeat the same mistakes without implementing lessons learned.

Here’s an innovative idea, behave, legislate, SPEAK like a REAL, TRUE Democrat. Impersonating Republic-lite fails especially our hyper-partisan obstructionist environment doesn’t work on the ‘left’ or the ‘right’. The public may be ignorant of the issues, corrupted by personal prejudices but people respect authenticity, especially wrapped in poignant, coherent packages. Complicating democratic candidacy is their constituents’ alignment with truth, education, cognizant acceptance of and live in reality. Truth isn’t a disadvantage nor an uphill battle to overcome. It is on these points and a multitude of secondary extenuating facets Democrats consistently fail to competently address or co-opt to a political advantage. Utilize the expertise of psychologists and strategic marketers in examining the psycho-dynamics of creating change in emotional aspects for eliciting the desired attitude and behavioral change toward specific issues. Additionally, taking advantage of the appropriate technologies in managing and dispersing the broad messages on national issues …simply but severely and universally underutilized.

Since 2010, Congress works part-time, Democrats, should endeavor to identify the visceral motivators that inspire their electorate to the polls during the mid-term. President Obama and his strategist focused upon “hope”, “change”, and “leaning forward” as their national platforms in 2008 & 2012. Pro-actively creating mini federal narratives, catch phrases vested to salient issues’ impact on voter consciousness, creates rallying junctures for cultivating voter turnout. Conservatives vilified and won on ‘Obama-hate’, while Democrats acquiesced to defeat with no rebuttal. President Obama’s political career ends in 2016. No candidate voiced that ostensible fact…simple clear & concise. Few Dems ‘flipped the script’ competently by detailing their GOP opponent’s pervasive failing policies. Democrats let the GOP narrative lead their candidates to the slaughter. We must do better!

Granted, what I’ve outlined are overwhelmingly difficult tasks and challenges for any politicians, but Democrats aren’t targeting  nor embodying fundamental political precepts for conveying their candidates across the line of victory, or maybe it is something more troubling….the candidates themselves. Again, the ‘left’ is stuck struggling and returning to candidates who are republican-lite knock-offs impersonating Democrats.

Candidates skittered away from President Obama and their own policy accomplishments and current improved circumstances:

  • Democrats and the Obama Administration saved the Auto Industry and related industry vendors.
  • Gas prices are lower and steadily decreasing. Savings translate to yearly savings of $400 on average per household.
  • Before the 2014 midterms, in October, Democratic candidates could have stumped about a jobless rate’s lowest level since September 2008 despite a swelling of the labor force.
  • Americans who have been out of work for at least 27 weeks their unemployment rate fell  two-tenths of a percentage point to 2.0 percent, the lowest since February 2009.
  • ACA provided insurance for millions of Americans, exposed & eliminated junk health coverage, lowered / dampened rising costs and stimulated the economy, including job creation.
  • The Democratic-sponsored American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, otherwise known as “the stimulus package blunted the impact of the worst U.S. recession in 70 years. An implosion of the US economy was avoided.

There are multitudes of articles, research and data describing the Administration and Democrat accomplishments including a comprehensive list tracing invaluable government work product since 2008 and the Paul Krugman Rolling Stone article. Still, the Democrats negate control of the narrative on their positive work. Voters perceive candidate denial,  severance from the party accomplishments, the president as the candidate rejecting the party and indirectly strengthens the opposition’s policy assaults/positions. Walking away from the Obama Administration gift wrapped and ensured defeat for winnable races in Colorado, North Carolina, Wisconsin, maybe even Kentucky or Texas.

Granted, gerrymandering by the state GOP legislatures eliminated many districts from competitive campaigns, SCOTUS killing section 5 of the Voting Rights Act subsequently paved a path to voter restrictions. Diluting liberal voting blocks paired with (poll taxes) voter id laws are currently on track to spread to more states, like Alabama. Ironically, Tillis manipulated/wrestled the North Carolina Senate seat from Senator Kay Hagan (D) – NC, by crafting legislation that eliminated an estimated 200,000 of early voting from 2010 and same-day registration, which depressed minority turnout. He slithered to victory with a net 48,000 votes that would have drowned three times over in the eliminated 200k, under Tillis’ strategy. Had the DNC spent the money, time inspiring the base and ensuring their presence at the ballot box, sufficient votes would have secured Senator Kay Hagan’s trip back to DC.

Failure is acceptable but furthering Keystone XL, (Landrieu) flailing on gun control (Manchin) or obfuscating your presidential 2012 vote as Kentucky’s Democratic leader (Grimes) are obverse egalitarian policies and stances belying a  wayward-duplicitous nature. Like the ‘lil dog’ hungers for the bone of the ‘lil dog’ reflected in the pond, Democrats reach for the GOP’s bone, ‘other voters’, ditch the base &  LOSE both. In the two years after the 2012 Presidential election, representatives wavered in their support of the progressive principles that garnered their initial success to victory…. i.e. immigration, environment.

Prodigious shift in the national party platform mirroring the 1964 migration of the ‘dixiecrats’ to the GOP would explain aggrieved transgression by politicians and that has not happened.

This criticism is NOT hind-sight 20/20 but an on-going problem for the last 50 years since Democrats became the party of the equality, inclusion and workers while Republicans worship wealth, oppression and lie. Herein lies the Democratic advantage, the American populace’s interests and lives are inherently aligned with our party values, yet campaigns unceasingly struggle with producing refined, appealing presentations, persuasive messaging. I don’t understand the continued disconnect between truth /reality and formatting coherent narratives considering the nature of politics? More than any other product or discipline, politics is vulnerable to strategic marketing, or alternately under the prescription of cynicism, manipulated. Conservatives have forgone manipulation for blatantly lying. Too few Democrats, ( save for Congressman Grayson – FL and Congressman Pallone – NJ, come to mind) boldly confront/challenge conservative lies and disinformation. The inexcusable defeatist /beaten mentality democrats display through their cowering complacency rightfully undermines voters’ confidence. The Progressive movement recognizes the need & RIGHT of representation by officials reflecting the belief/fire of their convictions, (as demonstrated by Senators Sanders & Warren) because straddling the line of moderation & playing nice broached the country to this regressive precipice.

Finally, challenging opposition lies, creating our own narrative and discrediting conservatives, is a good thing. Politics, the struggle and fight for progressive/liberal views can be conducted with finesse but NOW, only by candidates who are Democrats. It is no longer sufficient to be a democratic candidate in name only. 2016 lies ahead and much course correction must occur or similar doldrums may trickle into the presidential election years. Winning the ‘top spot’ is proving deficient  against a conservative stranglehold on legislative and judicial branches. Republican-lite or conservative knock-offs need “not apply” in this hyper-partisan storm…..we need more unshakable progressive, liberal Democrats down ballot in addition to the top spot.

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Scott Walker: Denying Health Care To Low-Income People Helps Them ‘Live The American Dream’

Another consequence of staying home on election day. I’m giddy at the thought of this clown running for President.


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Democrats: Get Ready For A Bumpy Ride

If you’re like me and you’ve finished cursing the 88% of millenials who didn’t vote, the independents who didn’t care, and anyone else who bought into the corporate media’s false equivalency bullshit and decided to fuck us all with a Republican-controlled Congress, I hope you’re happy. Some of the brainiacs online left comments and posts stating they would not vote just to “teach Democrats a lesson”. The only thing you taught me is that you are dumbasses. Enjoy the next two years.

For Democrats, I look forward sharing and discussing the outrageous actions of the emboldened teabag party that controls today’s GOP. Should be quite a ride. They’ll surely try to stop the inevitable Democratic landslide of 2016 with more of the same: voter suppression, election fraud, and targeted violence toward minorities to scare them away from politics. For anyone who doubts how the radical right will behave over the last two years of the Obama Administration, just look at what’s about to happen in Ferguson, Missouri. The KKK, those threatening to use “lethal force” against blacks protesting, they ARE today’s teabag party. So much for the conservative “minority outreach”.

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Friday Feminism – Police Mayhem, Rape/Rape Culture & Updates

Abortion & Abortion Rights

 Georgia City Bans Abortion Clinics To Avoid Protesters And ‘Drama’   – Because decorum is so much more important than women’s health.

 Let’s Just Say It: Women Matter More Than Fetuses Do – Except, of course, in Rossville, Georgia.

 Planned Parenthood sues over abortion clinic restriction  – If they can do it in Ohio, why not in Georgia?

 Katha Pollitt: A Positive Case For Abortion Rights  – Katha Pollitt joins Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman and Narmeen Sheikh to explain that “having children when you want to have children is very important for women’s lives.”

Culture & Pop Culture

 Time stands still for Doctor Who — despite the Master’s sex change – Get ready for a new Doctor, guys, because sooner or later, she’s coming.


A Feminist Flag?

 Oh look, the entirely predictable result for asking the internet about the word “feminist”  – You can say that this wasn’t intended to be a slam on feminism until you’re blue in the face, but in fact, a slam on feminism is exactly what it is.

 Tomgram: Rebecca Solnit, The War Is Over (If You Want It), Feminism and Men  – What do the prime minister of India, retired National Football League punter Chris Kluwe, and superstar comedian Aziz Ansari have in common? It’s not that they’ve all walked into a bar (though Ansari could probably figure out the punch line to that joke), they’ve all spoken up for feminism this year.

Gender Equality (or Equal Rights)

 Old Navy In Hot Water For Making Plus-Size Women Pay More Than Male Counterparts  – I am extremely concerned about this. Right after equal pay, the right to make my own healthcare decisions, and about a thousand other things.

In Memory

 John Doar, US civil rights lawyer, dies aged 92


 Tony The Tiger Says ‘Gay’s GRRReat,’ Religious Hate Group Has Hissy-Fit

 New York: Wedding Venues Cannot Discriminate Against Same-Sex Couples  – How long is it going to take for the wedding industry to realize discriminating against customers is bad for business?

 Florida threatens married gay couple: Change your names back or lose your drivers licenses  – Isn’t it nice for the state that the Florida DMV has nothing better to do than second guessing the law on legal name changes?

 Pope Francis Demotes Anti-Gay Conservative American Cardinal…Again – Wow! Is organized religion finally coming ’round? Not so much:  Catholic cardinal: Gay people who want children are ‘irresponsible’. 


 Woman slams sexist shirt; Twitter douchebags tell her to kill herself. Worst offender? A contributor to A Voice for Men  – The real reason more women aren’t in STEM fields is that they’re just not as smart as Christopher Cantwell is. According, of course, to Christopher Cantwell.

 Men’s rights activist: Civilization fails when women and their vaginas are allowed in the workplace  – “I’m sorry, ladies,” he continued, “but if we want society to advance, we need to leave men alone to do their work — to do their thing and be with each other to get things done. Because that’s how it works.”  Yeah. Endless wars, slavery and domestic violence back to… oh I don’t know, the beginning of time, maybe?…have proven that.

Police Mayhem

 Homeless Man Loses Only Photos Of Deceased Wife When Heartless Cop Tosses Backpack Into River  – “I’ve had a good career, I try to be a good person,” (the cop) told reporters.

 The Police Are Still Out of Control  – and if anyone should know, it’s Frank Serpico.

 Epileptic woman calls 9-1-1 for help, beaten when seizures mistaken for ‘resisting arrest’  – If they can’t tell the difference between ‘drunk and disorderly’ and ‘seizures’ the training definitely needs to be improved.

 Cops Smash Mother’s Face Into Table Over Noise Complaint As 9-Year-Old Son Watches (VIDEO)  – And guess what. Her other son is a police officer!

 Kentucky cops raid teenagers’ field party, kill girl who tried to escape  – My grandfather was a cop, so I know how quickly things can escalate and get out of hand; but at some point couldn’t they exercise a little discretion?  Her behavior wasn’t good, but it didn’t call for the death penalty.


Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, pointing.

 Local News Station Worries Mayor And Black Volunteer Are Flashing Gang Signs, Hilarity Ensues (VIDEO)  – Every time I think the media can’t get any stupider, they have to prove me wrong.

 Watch: Racist Republican Gets Schooled By Citizens After Calling Candidate A N*gg*r (VIDEO)  – ‘Racist Republican’. Isn’t that redundant?

 Here’s Who You Should Boycott as Long as This Racist Governor Is on Their Payroll  – Had Enough? Do something about it.

Rape & Rape Culture

 This University President’s ‘Lecture’ On Campus Rape Just Outraged The Entire Country (VIDEO)  – It’s called ‘higher education’ because you have to be more stoned to tolerate it.


 Bill Cosby Issues A Challenge To Twitter Users, It All Goes Horribly Wrong – Wouldn’t you think someone in the entertainment industry would understand social media?

 This Guy Teaches Men How To Sexually Assault Women, Now He’s Getting A Lesson In Karma – Sadly, the only thing that surprises me (other than him actually facing consequences) is that men need to be taught how.

 Inspector: No sign of investigation in 1,111 New Orleans sex crime-related calls

 Pentagon Launches Largest-Ever Military Sexual Assault Survey

 “There was no justice”: No jail time for man who photographed Rehtaeh Parsons’ alleged gang rape  – Parsons committed suicide after the photo of her alleged assault went viral. The man who took it faced no consequences.  I get so frustrated and heartsick doing this section.  And I get so sick of the word ‘alleged’.


 Hilarious Twitter Response to Tip that Women Avoid Sexual Assault by ‘Practicing Their Facial Expressions’  – #MyAntiRapeFace is women’s sassy response to Ramapo College’s ‘blame the victim’ hourlong presentation on alcohol use and sexual assault.

 Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales challenges #GamerGate to write neutral entry  – I hope they’re better at gaming than they are at mounting a coherent response.

 ‘Mythbuster’ Adam Savage’s levelheaded response to #GamerGate: ‘Sh*t’s tough for girls’  – On the latest Inquiring Minds podcast, Indre Viskontas asked Mythbuster co-host Adam Savage why “there is so much rage against women in” both the hard sciences and the gaming community.

 It Doesn’t Need An Explanation: 9 Reasons Catcalling Is Harassment  – The response to the recently released and now-viral catcalling video has been one of mixed reactions and dispute. But, some of the loudest voices have been those of men, those who don’t consider this type of interaction to be “harassment.”

 Columbia University Fined Student Activists for the Carry That Weight Day of Action  – A student-run feminist group at Columbia University is facing up to $1,500 in fees due to a protest of campus rape and sexual assault held last week. The usual disconnect between academia and the students they’re trying to silence.

 PA Cop Who Squeezed Teen’s Testicles So Hard He Needed Surgery Back At Work (VIDEO)  – We all remember the case of the illegal “stop and frisk” in Philadelphia that resulted in 16-year-old Darrin Manning needing emergency surgery on one of his testicles due to a female police officer squeezing it so hard.

War On Mothers

Says it all.

Says it all.

 Pat Robertson: Single Mothers Should Be Forced To Get Married Or They Will Go To Hell (VIDEO)  – Pat, Pat, Really? Why add to their burden?

 Young Mother Arrested For Voting In Iowa  – She took her children for a civics lesson, but got more than she bargained for.

 Arrested for Having a Miscarriage? 7 Appalling Instances Where Pregnant Women Were Criminalized  – Anti-abortion laws hurt all women, including those who are against abortion.

Women In History

 ‘Tricky Dick’ vs. the Pink Lady  – Nixon’s victory over Helen Gahagan Douglas was one of the nastiest in history, and a prototype for today’s GOP smear tactics.

 Joan Clarke, woman who cracked Enigma cyphers with Alan Turing  – Joan Clarke’s ingenious work as a codebreaker during WWII saved countless lives, and her talents were formidable enough to command the respect of some of the greatest minds of the 20th Century, despite the sexism of the time.

Women In Politics

 Elizabeth Warren Gets Senate Democratic Leadership Spot  – Warren’s new role, which was created specifically for her, will be strategic policy adviser to the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee.  But will they listen?

Women’s Health

♀ Yes, the Republican Obamacare Strategy Will Kill People  – One of those (people) is David Tedrow, who, in a harrowing first-person account published in the Washington Post, writes of his fight with non-alcoholic cirrhosis, crediting Obamacare with saving his life. “Without insurance and the subsidy I would simply die,” writes Tedrow, “because I could not afford my drugs and my body would reject my liver.”

 Catholic Bishops Vote To Revise Rules For Health Care Partnerships  – Women were getting quality care. Can’t have that.

 Woman taken to ‘wrong’ hospital faces bankruptcy  – We have the best healthcare money can buy, and that’s exactly what’s wrong with it.

World News

 Uganda draws up new Draconian anti-LGBT law: activists

“If newspapers report about homosexuality it could be seen as promotion. My Twitter account could be seen as promotion. All human rights groups that include LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) rights defence in their activities could be accused of promotion.”

According to the draft, anyone convicted of promoting homosexuality would be liable to seven years in prison.

 Syria region defies ISIS, issues women’s rights decree  – The 30-point decree issued by the joint leaders of the “self-ruling democracy of Jazira province” aims to safeguard and strengthen women’s rights in semi-autonomous areas.

On A Lighter Note

 Jon Stewart- Signs of Anarchy


Read the Friday Feminism Series

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Thank You Veterans


Veterans Day Images Free

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Poor Little “Disillusioned Young Voter”

Well, I guess you showed those Democrats, huh? You think Millennials made some kind of statement by not voting, and as you point out on RSN, you’re actually proud of it:

Carl Gibson, "Disillusioned Young Voter"

Carl Gibson, “Disillusioned Young Voter”

Republicans steamrolled you, Democrats, because most of us stayed home and let our Fox-watching uncles and grandparents decide on who was going to represent everyone else.

Contrast the unified Republican message with the profound silence from you Democrats on addressing the trillion-dollar student debt crisis, rampant inequality and underemployment, and your collective fear of openly embracing economic populism, and you cook up what we saw on Tuesday night… Younger people mostly stayed home, disillusioned with the only alternative on the ballot who didn’t even talk about the issues affecting our lives every day.

Forgetting the fact that you seem utterly oblivious to the Democrats’ policy issues for the last couple of decades, you do realize there are over 300 million people in this country, right? People who all have issues that are important to them. In fact, a nationwide survey shows a wide range of issues important to your group alone (via Governing):



Rank Issue 10-7 (Most persuasive) 6-4 (Middle range) 3-0 (Least persuasive)
1 Student Loans 59% 31% 10%
2 Background Checks 56% 31% 13%
3 Invest in Good Jobs 57% 33% 9%
4 Economic Opportunity 57% 33% 10%
5 Community Colleges 56% 34% 10%
6 Protecting Rights 55% 32% 13%
7 Opportunity to Get Ahead 54% 34% 12%
8 Populism 53% 33% 13%
9 Abortion 53% 33% 14%
10 Climate and Renewables 50% 37% 13%
11 Corruption/Money in Politics 49% 38% 13%
12 Gridlock Harms The Economy 48% 39% 13%
13 Obamacare Coverage 48% 34% 19%
Source: Harstad Strategic Research

As for your “insight” regarding the Republican “message” (emphasis mine):

Even though the Republicans have made it clear they won’t raise the minimum wage, legalize marijuana, or address climate change as long as they’re in power, they at least have a unified message that appeals to enough people who share their values…

… They can also communicate that message in a confident way. The Republican platform comes in easy-to-remember, tweet-sized sentences. We all know their buzzwords – “national security,” “family values,” “free markets.” That may translate to endless war, homophobia, and corporate feudalism for the better-informed, but for most people, those are catch phrases they can get behind.

Silly me, I just assumed that Millennials, especially college educated ones, could read and comprehend the details about the issues. I had no idea we’d gotten to the point where they can’t absorb anything over 140 characters. I guess all political commercials from here on out should just show the candidate holding up a series of flashcards.

No matter what type of spin you put on it, there is no rationale for abdicating your duty as a citizen to vote when hundreds of thousands of people were fighting just to keep from being disenfranchised by the party you helped take over. By the way, that would include those college students you’re talking about.

One of the things you obviously missed because it wouldn’t fit in a tweet, is the GOP’s 2012 platform that, as HuffPo reported:

… calls for an end to the federal direct student loan program and would instead give government money to banks to issue private student loans, undoing some of the student loan reforms made by the Obama administration.

As you know, privatization is largely responsible for where we are now, as the Student Labor Action Project pointed out:

As the largest private profiteer of student debt — owning $162.5 billion of student debt and servicing over 4 million Department of Education loans — Sallie Mae has the power to set industry-wide trends for student loan interest rates, debt collection practices, and standards set for all servicers. A publicly traded corporation, Sallie Mae is only accountable to its shareholders – not the government or students.

In another post they list the Higher Ed agenda being pushed by ALEC (the American Legislative Exchange Council), a group that literally writes Republican legislation across the country (which Sallie Mae is now a member of). That agenda includes:

Resolution in Support of Private Sector Colleges and Universities proclaims support of for-profit education institutions and opposes the “gainful employment” regulation that would help stop predatory lending by for-profit colleges.

College Opportunity Fund Act would provide taxpayer-funded vouchers to for-profit and religious higher education institutions.

Voter ID Act is part of a broader effort to make it harder for five million Americans—particularly students, minorities and the elderly—to vote.

Now I’m trying to remember… that bill put forward by Elizabeth Warren, what was it… You know, the one the President supported:

I’ve taken action on my own to offer millions of students the opportunity to cap their monthly student loan payments to 10% of their income. But Congress needs to do its part. The good news is that Senate Democrats are working on a bill that would help more young people save money. Just like you can refinance your mortgage at a lower interest rate, this bill would let you refinance your student loans. And we’d pay for it by closing loopholes that allow some millionaires to pay a lower tax rate than the middle class.

That’s the choice that your representatives in Congress will make in the coming weeks – protect young people from crushing debt, or protect tax breaks for millionaires. And while Congress decides what it’s going to do, I will keep doing whatever I can without Congress to help responsible young people pay off their loans – including new action I will take this week.

Oh yeah, the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act…  Why didn’t that pass? Wait! I know… Republicans blocked it! But hey, I guess nobody tweeted you about that either.

So, since you weren’t the center of the political universe this election cycle, you sat on your asses and handed Congress over to people who will wreak havoc on everything from health insurance to social security and yes, probably student loans. But hey – you’re proud of yourselves, and that’s what matters. I just hope you’ll have graduated to big boy pants by 2016.

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Warning Signs Of A Supreme Court Pile On

On Friday the Supreme Court decided to consider a case that represents a fundamental threat to the Affordable Care Act.   In doing so they proved my crystal ball is busted, because I had predicted that lower courts would toss the case on it’s ear, and the Supreme’s would decline to reconsider the lower court’s decision.    I was half wrong about the lower court ruling, and all wrong about the Supremes taking the case.

My reasoning for the optimistic prediction was that Chief Justice John Roberts already had a crack at taking down Obamacare.   He declined to do so, at a time when the practical consequences of tossing the law would have been minimal.  The political sturm and drang would certainly have been great, but the law had yet to take effect so the real world consequence would have only been prospective in nature. 

The reason I was half wrong in my prediction that the lower courts would toss the case is that the Supreme Court ignored regular order to take the case. Rather than letting the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rule, the Supremes jumped in front of the line. Most legal experts expected that the justices would allow the Court of Appeals to hear the case, and many expected that the court would simply let the lower court’s ruling stand rather than open this particular can of worms.

On to the particulars of the case in question.  The Supremes are going to consider whether or not the law allows people who enroll for insurance using the federal exchange to recieve federal subsidies.   A ruling that those subsidies are illegal would prove to be a fundamental challenge to the law.  There is no doubt that the intent of the Congress was for the subsidies to be given to those who were entitled to them, but for reasons I will touch on shortly, there is ambiguity in the law as currently structured.

Taking down the core of the law a year after it has been in place would have severe consequences, and not just for the millions of people who would have their coverage taken away.  The entire health care system would be rocked and there are legitimate fears that a judgement against the subsidies would result in an insurance industry “death spiral”.    

It must be noted that the conservative wing of the court is not shy about ignoring procedure, precedent or common sense when it comes to pushing their agenda.  At least four of them did not mind ignoring standard procedure to consider this case, and I would be willing to bet that informed court watchers could name those four justices.   Maybe I’m being overly conspiratorial here, but I cannot help but wonder why the court was so eager to take the case right now, going so far as to ignore standard procedure.   I can just imagine the conservative bloc on the court considering the drubbing  Democrats were handed in this midterm, and searching for a mechanism to pile on while the left is down.

As to why there is the afore mentioned ambiguity in the law when it comes to federal subsidies, it is particularly notable that the original construct of the ACA was perfectly fine. The law as passed by congress insured that each state would expand Medicaid. Any state that did not expand lost all Medicaid funding, a consequence that would prove so catastrophic politically and fiscally that the question of states opting out seemed inconceivable. That carrot and stick approach would have insured that each state expanded Medicaid and since that program is administered by the individual states they would have had to establish a state exchange attendant with Medicaid expansion.

Which naturally leads to the question: What changed to allow some states to opt out of Medicaid expansion? The answer lies buried in the original decision by the Supreme Court that Obamacare was constitutional. While all the air in the news at the time was sucked up by the ruling that the individual mandate was constitutional, another part of that same ruling found that the ACA’s carrot and stick approach to Medicaid expansion was not constitutional. Thus states could opt out of expansion, but maintain pre ACA Medicaid funding, and thus the ambiguity currently at issue was created by the Supreme Court itself.

The original language contemplating each state expanding was dramatically changed due to the Supreme Court ruling that states refusing to expand Medicaid should not face draconian penalties.   It was the court’s ruling that saved Obamacare in the first place that planted the seed that grew into the threat to the law that is now being considered by the same court.

It would be beyond ironic if the Supreme Court took this chance to attack the fundamental underpinnings of Obamacare, not based upon the original law, but based upon a change the court enforced upon the law.   Then again, with the proven record of this court in ignoring precedent and procedure to push a conservative agenda, maybe this is just the new norm.

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My Midterm Republican Wave Democratic Party Postmortem

The 2014 midterm has proven to be another major setback for the Democratic party. Both midterm elections during the Obama administration have been unmitigated disasters.

If the Democratic party can only win presidential elections every four years, but continually get swept during midterms, we are in trouble going forward. This pattern means that Democrats must bank enough officeholders every other election to overcome the inevitable midterm tsunami that intervenes. That pattern is untenable for taking or holding the house, tenuous at best for controlling the senate, and disastrous for Democratic control of state houses and governors mansions.

The main lesson we should take from the last two midterm election drubbings is that Democrats need to stop being so freaking scared of running as Democrats. The most egregious example of a Democrat running scared of being a Democrat was when Alison Grimes squirmed and refused to answer whether or not she voted for President Obama. Twice! It seems like after the 1st time she should have been prepared to just answered the question… which answer is: Of COURSE she did. She’s a freaking Democrat! It is just embarrassing that a candidate for the U.S. Senate thought they could not just say they had voted for President Obama. What are we supposed to believe? That she may have voted for John McCain or Mitt Romney?

That non response rolling train wreck must have hardly proved inspiring to those Kentuckian’s who had voted for President Obama, and Grimes needed to get every single one of those voters to cast a ballot if she had any shot of defeating McConnell.

This is the lesson that should be drummed into Democratic candidates going forward. You are a Democrat, not a less righty Republican! Own it, or lose.

Democrats (even Dems in red states) cannot win running as centrist Republicans. If the voters want to vote for Republicans, there are Republicans right there on the ballot they can vote for. It just comes across as disingenuous for the Democratic candidate to disavow or ignore issues that are crucial to our party.

For example (not to pick on any one candidate in particular BUT) in the race for Senate in Kentucky, the silence from the Democratic campaign on Obamacare was simply deafening! Kynect, the state exchange that is a direct result of the passage of Obamacare, is HUGELY popular in Kentucky… Kentucky’s Governor, Democrat Steve Beshear, is wildly popular and he is front and center whenever someone with a camera wants to discuss the pros and cons of Obamacare.

By contrast, whenever Grimes could not avoid questions on Obamacare she promised to “fix” the law, and talked about how if she had been in the Senate the final product would have looked different. Again, hardly the most ringing endorsement for a law that resulted in a very popular state exchange being set up in Kentucky, which just so happens to be the state she was running in.

What spells doom for Democrats in the midterms is the abysmal turnout of Democratic voters on election day. The 2014 midterm saw the lowest turnout of registered voters since WWII, with only 37% bothering to cast a ballot. That paltry turnout does not even consider that more than 70 million citizens that are eligible to vote are not even registered.

If Democratic candidates try to make the general public believe they are actually kinder gentler Republicans what incentive does the base have to come out to vote for the Democrat? Effectively, there is no Democratic candidate for Democrats to support in a lot of these races. There is just a choice between a hard right or a centrist Republican.

Democrats trying to pull votes from Republicans by demonstrating how conservative they are only serve to suppress the Democratic vote. It is a fool’s errand, and it is well past time for Democrats to learn this lesson: Run as a Democrat on issues that are important to our party or lose as the people you need to energize to vote stay at home.

Democratic candidates need to energize the base, not spend their time and effort appealing to the energized Republicans. As a rule of thumb a Republican voter that is supremely motivated to go to the polls in a midterm election is not doing so because they are enthused to vote for a Democrat, no matter how conservative the candidate pretends to be.

Until our candidates learn his lesson we can continue to expect the winning issues Democrats widely agree upon to continue to be ignored. There is a good reason that 80% of the American people agree on background checks for gun purchases at gun shows, but that cannot be passed through congress: 20% of the populace thinks those background checks are a horrible affront to liberty, and will result in the massacre of their family by Ebola diseased border hopping ISIS immigrants. Those 20% are dead enders who will vote 95% of the time. While the 80% of us who support sane gun safety measures can be counted on to vote (optimistically) 1/4 of the time. Half the population are presented with two candidates who run advertisements where they actually bust out the shooting irons and blast away at laws they do not like, while swearing fealty to the NRA, because the Democratic candidate is terrified of incurring the wrath of the NRA… as though the dead end 20%’s will EVER vote for a Democrat anyway, even if said Democrat can shoot straight.

On the national level the dead enders win this issue time and again, not because they are a majority of the population, but because they are the majority who are motivated to vote. Gun safety proponents win on the state level every now and then, like Colorado in 2013 and Washington in this midterm.

What happened in Colorado when they passed gun safety legislation through the state house. The gun lobby ran recall elections which successfully booted 2 state representatives from office. They were not turfed out because they had voted for an unpopular position, but because the turnout in the recall elections were a pittance (21% and 35%) of the voting population. Again, the dead ender 20%’s who will cast a vote if they have to run a gauntlet of rabid pit bulls in a blizzard dressed only in their speedo’s over rule the vast majority who could not be bothered to turn out during some strange one issue recall election that no one but your crazy uncle that listens to Rush really cares about.

President Obama has contributed to this and should not be excused by Democrats. His determination to leave immigration reform up to the house, and then punt on it when they refused to act in order to try to save red state Democratic senators was a complete blunder. Again, Obama tried to take a centrist approach and just wound up pissing away a significant chunk of the Democratic base.

Whites made up about 64% of the population nationwide as of the 2010 census. 75% of voters who turned out this election were white. 60% of whites voted Republican while only 38% of whites voted Democratic. Now consider that while Hispanics make up approximately 17% of the population only 8% of voters this year were Hispanic, down from 12% in 2012 and 10% in 2010. Democrats got 62% of the Hispanic vote in 2014.

Suffice to say that the president’s determination to delay executive action on immigration reform obviously failed to save Democratic control of the Senate.

That decision looks bad with 20/20 hindsight, but the outcome could be seen well before this election. What are the chances that someone who would vote against a Democrat following executive action on immigration reform would vote for the Democrat if no action were taken? The answer to the question is Minimal, with a capital M.

Also consider that the various Democratic positions on immigration reform are popular, including the most controversial from the right’s perspective. Exit polling reflects that 57% of voters this year thought illegal immigrants working in the U.S. should be offered a path to citizenship, while only 39% thought they should be deported.

Once again, Democrats running scared from supporting the correct policy out of fear that Republicans would vote against them wound up losing. Of course Republicans are going to vote against Democrats! That isn’t going to change. What can change is how Democrats treat their own base. Not only can that change, but if Democrats want to compete in midterms going forward, it must change.

I’ll wrap up by noting that this diagnosis is hardly original, but I feel compelled to add this to the growing pile of opinion from the left calling for the Democratic party to start acting like Democrats, and stop trying to come across as Republican lite.

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Friday Feminism – Racism, Rape & Rape Culture, Sexual Assault & Harassment

Abortion & Abortion Rights

Oklahoma Supreme Court halts certain abortion restrictions

Anti-Choice ‘Personhood’ Measures Fail in North Dakota and Colorado – North Dakota’s personhood amendment was possibly the most radical abortion initiative on a ballot in the midterms.

Abortion opponents have lost 5 out of 5 personhood votes

Tennessee Amendment 1 abortion measure passes – “Already lawmaker vows to back abortion regulations when legislature reconvenes” – in other words move now before it is too late!

Culture & Pop Culture

Mallory Ortberg: ‘If men show up that’s great, but we don’t need them’

The Raymur Mothers: They Wouldn’t Take No for an Answer

The insane, sexist history and feminist triumphs of Captain Marvel

Women Rise in Sci Fi (Again) – “This year’s major science-fiction awards had strong female representation, but don’t call it a feminist victory for the genre just yet.”


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NYC pastor pushes fake claim that Starbucks uses ‘sodomites’ semen to ‘flavor up’ lattes – “…it flavors up the coffee. And it makes you think you’re having a good time drinking that cup of latte with the semen in it.”  Ok.  So is he arguing for or against it? And he thinks we are the sick ones!

Gender Equality (or Equal Rights)

A radical fix to the world’s wage gap: why not just pay women more – and pay men less?

Gun Violence

Four injured in shooting outside Fleetwood Mac concert in D.C. – Really? Fleetwood Mac?

Maryland toddler finds loaded shotgun, shoots 3-year-old boy

Washington State Passes Toughest Background Checks In The Country For Gun Purchases

Human & Civil Rights

Muslim Company Forcing Christian Employees to Wear Headscarfs – “If Hobby Lobby can impose its religious beliefs on its employees, why can’t we?”  I am sure they are not serious but I do love the point they are making.


Georgia Trans Man Threatened With Humiliating Genital Search By Police (VIDEO) – Absolutely horrifying. My heart goes out to Juan Evans.

Watch Orange Is The New Black Star Shut Down Street Preacher (VIDEO)

Marriage Equality

Federal judge strikes down Kansas ban on marriage equality


The Ghomeshi syndrome: Delusional creeps, from Clarence Thomas to Gamergate – Everything you ever wanted to know about clueless dudes, but were too nauseous to ask.

White Comedian Thinks Tweeting Slavery-Inspired Rape Fantasies About Black Women Is Funny – My, how the stomach churns!

Police Mayhem

Raging Cop Nearly Causes Accident, Pulls Gun On Former Senator For Honking At Him

Maniac Cop Caught On Video Brutalizing Man, Destroying Evidence Gets Sued Again (VIDEO) – …And then destroys the evidence… Man who lost testicle won’t face DWI charges because cop destroyed video of groin kick

Vermont Police Caught On Camera Beating Subdued Man (VIDEO)


Washington Redskins File Lawsuit Against Native Americans For Suggesting Team Name Is Offensive – How about changing it to the Washington Whiteys? You know… to honor Caucasians.

Racist Virgina Confederate Flag Supporter To Black Man: ‘Go Back To Africa!’ (VIDEO) – Ok, new rule. No more telling people to go back to someplace unless they actually came from there. And be sure to skip over the fact that the Confederate Flag Supporter’s ancestors are the ones who forced many black people to come from Africa in the first place.

Ferguson Protester Shot In The Head, Bullet Mysteriously Vanishes – More disappearing evidence.

Yellow Fever: Dating As An Asian Woman

South Carolina exit polls ask voters whether blacks are getting too uppity about equality – You’re shitting me, right?

Rape & Rape Culture

Georgia GOP County Chair Accused Of Broadcasting Rape Live On Skype

W.Va. Supreme Court again says jail authority is immune in inmate’s alleged rape – Its sick – they just don’t fucking care.

Sexual assault in progressive spaces: Thinking about the Jian Ghomeshi allegations

‘Cop Of The Month’ Fired For Raping Woman At Gunpoint On Patrol Car Hood (VIDEO) – And yet the police force wonders why there is such a huge dislike for them. Gee, big mystery.

Texas Police Officers Caught on Tape: ‘Go Ahead, Call the Cops. They Can’t Un-Rape You’

Why women don’t report rape and sexual assault

NJ College To Female Students: Use Your Anti-Rape Face To Avoid Being Assaulted – Um, what?

Texas school bans football team’s insanely rapey T-shirts: ‘Shhhhhhh, just let it happen’ – The whole “We take what we want” isn’t too cool either. Just sayin’.

Repubs Impose the Nation’s First “Uterus Tax”. Most Eligible Michigan Voters are Responsible – Alright, now you’ve gone too far. Take it! I don’t want it and it is far more hassle than it is worth without being taxed for it on top of it!

Where Rape Victims Are Forced to Pay for Their Own Forensic Exams – What next? Will murder victims be charged for the investigation out of their estate?


Utah National Guard disciplines four over bikini models in tanks video

Sexual Assault & Harassment

Police officer accused of filming women at salon

Navy vet says GOP House candidate DeMaio sexually harassed him – Hey – it appears to be raining pervs this week! Mind your head!

CNN guest: If women don’t want to be catcalled, they should carry guns – Really? So we can now shoot all the dumb asses who decide to catcall us? Sweet!

Instagram’s #ByeFelipe Shows (Yet Again) How Abusive And Horrible Men Are To Women (IMAGES)

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8 Societal Barriers That Make It Hard to Report Sexual Assault


GamerGate target Zoe Quinn: It will ‘always be glorified revenge porn by my angry ex’

Boko Haram says kidnapped schoolgirls ‘married off’

No charges in Utah police shooting of sword-wielding man

CHP Officer Resigns, Is Charged With Allegedly Stealing Explicit Photos From Female Arrestees

Mormon women’s rights campaigner loses appeal against excommunication

Oklahoma cop accused of raping 3 more women on duty, now faces 32 charges total

Women In History

Boudica: Your Hero and Mine

Forgotten Women of Film History: Lois Weber

Women In Politics

The Global Shame Of The United States: Why America Elects So Few Women

Sarah Palin goes off the deep end yet-a-freaking-gain – Can’t we just go “Sara Palin said/did something stupid today” and save this constant typing?

Joni Ernst spokeswoman resigned after OWI arrest – How nice they save these little tidbits for after the election.

Obama expected to nominate Loretta Lynch for AG

World News

Africa: Chocolate Companies Offer ‘Mixed-Bag’ On Women’s Rights – Did you hand out inequality this Halloween?

The Missing Women of Afghanistan

OSSTF/FEESO Shines the Light to Break the Silence on Violence Against Women

Italian to become first woman head of CERN physics centre

#GelatoGate whips up sexism storm in Italy – I guess it was her own fault for eating ice cream in public.

Violence Against Women

Watch The Chilling Moment Missing Philly Woman Is Kidnapped From Street (VIDEO) – …and this just in: Woman kidnapped from Philadelphia street found safe in Maryland

3 Stereotypes About Asians That Prevent These Domestic Violence Survivors from Getting Help

On A Lighter Note

Women with actual PhDs review ‘sexy PhD costume’ on Amazon – Absolutely wonderful – but then I am sure you already know about my affinity for witty women!

39 Years Later: Recasting “Rocky Horror” For A New Generation – I actually disagree with these choices for the most part, but it makes a fun game. Who would you choose?

Women Rejecting Marriage Proposals In Western Art History – Not really, but I like the way this writer thinks.


Read the Friday Feminism Series

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Hoping Democrats Come Through

I had started a post rehashing yet again why it will be Hell on Earth if Conservatives take over the House and Senate; but you know what: It’s election day, and if you haven’t gotten the point by now, nothing I could say would make any difference.

get out and vote

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Are Conservatives Even Literate?

The question I pose is not a joke; Conservatives obviously don’t understand the things they read or hear. In a talk on Women and the Economy at Rhode Island College in Providence, President Obama made these statements among others:

“Sometimes, someone, usually mom, leaves the workplace to stay home with the kids, which then leaves her earning a lower wage for the rest of her life as a result. And that’s not a choice we want Americans to make.

… we need family leave, we need better child care policies, and we need to make sure that women get an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work. “

Now, for people who graduated from high school, this is a pretty straight forward statement, for Conservatives, not so much. The only sentences they heard were the first two. They seem to have tremendous difficulty in the area of comprehension. Here are some of the Right Wing headlines resulting from those two sentences (I’m not going to link to any of them for the same reason I don’t listen to chimps screaming):

gopdunceObama Insults Stay-at-Home Moms

Watch as Obama Slams The Choices of Stay-at-Home Moms

Ouch: Obama Claims America Doesn’t Want Stay-At-Home-Moms

Obama: We Don’t Want Stay-At-Home Mothers

President Obama Plays the Shame Card on Stay-At-Home-Moms

Obama Loses Stay-at-Home Moms’ Support (If He Ever Had It)

– This writer not only totally missed the President’s point entirely, she rattled off a laundry list of talking points (no pun intended) straight out of the Venker handbook, which of course culminated in yammering about feminists. Pop a Zoloft lady, Sheesh!

Now there are only two possibilities here: Either these folks purposely took the President’s statements out of context, which we know they’d never do, or they’re simply illiterate. My money’s on the latter.

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