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    • Ideology Precedes Policy Which Determines Outcomes
      Ok, so… Working class white mortality rate 30% lower than blacks in 1999, now 30% higher than blacks. https://t.co/6dg8FNegaK — Matt Stoller (@matthewstoller) March 23, 2017 The results are rather worse than that, actually, and anyone who reads this blog regularly is aware that, for example, working class white male wages peaked in 1968, in […]
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If you wanted Hillary for president last year and were disappointed by the election outcome, the recent revelations about how Trump was the subject of a federal criminal  investigation should make you livid right about now. 

The Trump presidency has exposed the tender underbelly of our system. It is vulnerable when we rely on “norms” and one side playing by the rules while the other side does whatever the fuck it wants. 

Andrew Jackson said the courts could rule any way they wanted. They didn’t have an army. 

That’s about where we are right now. The system is getting squishy, gelatinous, amorphous. It’s very dangerous. A system as complex as ours is going to start showing the strain. 

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

Modern Irish music: 



Read it and weep

Here’s a breakdown of Trump’s proposed 2018 budget. The impact to science is devastating. The impact to the arts is catastrophic. 

But we’ll get a better police state, so… there’s that. 

People, if you think 2018 is just going to happen without our hard work, you’re going to be sadly disappointed the day after Election Day. 

Get your ass in gear. Start now. 

Green 

So the EPA won’t protect the environment anymore. 

Trump is turning out to be as awful as we predicted. 

And after teasing us in February, the weather has turned vicious on us. 

But it will be spring soon. I promise. Sit back, make some hot tea and take a short hike with me on the Trillium Trail. 

Disclosure: this was the first video I did from my own pics as a sort of an experiment to see how to upload to YouTube. It’s not meant to be perfect. But the music is great and I think I got every shade). 

The Whipping of Beggars -with iPhones. 

The American Health Care Act gives a whole new meaning to the word American. It reminds me of Freedom Fries, remember that meme?  Leave it to Republicans to put a creative spin on Orwellian language that makes the rest of the country cringe with embarrassment. 

John Oliver gets into the weeds and explains just how many people will get screwed by this bill while the top .01% walks away with an additional $197,000 that they’ll never even notice. 


That reminds me of this passage from Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies about how Thomas Cromwell tried to get an infrastructure bill through parliament so that the poor wouldn’t riot in the streets when they couldn’t feed themselves: 

“In March [1536], Parliament knocks back his [Thomas Cromwell’s] new poor law. It was too much for the Commons to digest that rich men might have some duty to the poor. If you get fat, as some men do who profit from the wool trade, you have some responsibility to the men turned off their land, the laborers without labor, the sowers without a field. England needs roads, forts, harbors, bridges. Men need work. It’s a shame seeing them begging their bread, when honest labor could keep the realm secure. Can we not put them together, the hands and the tasks?

But Parliament cannot see how it is the State’s job to create work. Are not these matters in God’s hands, and is not poverty and dereliction part of his eternal order? To everything there is a season- a time to starve and a time to thieve. If rain falls six months solid and rots the grain in the fields, there must be Providence in it. God knows his trade. It is an outrage to the rich and enterprising to suggest that they should pay an income tax only to put bread in the mouths of the work shy. And if Secretary Cromwell argues that famine provokes criminality, well, are there not hangmen enough?

The King himself comes to the Commons to argue for the law. He wants to be Henry the Beloved, a father to his people, a shepherd to his flock. But the Commons sit stoney faced on their benches and stare him out. The wreckage of the measure is comprehensive. “It is ended up as an Act for the Whipping of Beggars”, Richard Rich says. “It is more against the poor than for them.”

plus ça change…

Don’t expect Donald Trump to try to make this bill better. For one thing, he doesn’t know how. He’s not a politician or a policy expert. And that’s what Trump voters apparently wanted. Someone with zero expertise on a very complicated issue. They should be delighted to finally actually get what they voted for. 

Returning to the days of F#%^ and run

Oh, ferchristssakes, what the hell is wrong with Republican lawmakers?  Do they really think so little of women?  It’s bad enough that they want to cut off contraceptives and abortion to satisfy their “Christian” constituents. Now they don’t want to stick around for the inevitable consequences. Rep. John Shimkus wants to know why men have to pay for prenatal care. 

Here’s the exchange he had with my congressman Democrat Mike Doyle:

As a reminder, former president Barack Obama’s signature 2010 health-care law ordered that all health plans cover certain essential health benefits, such as doctor visits, hospital care and prescription drugs.
The law also required plans to cover pregnancy and childbirth. That’s where the fireworks started in the Energy and Commerce Committee.

“What mandate in the Obamacare bill does he take issue with?” Doyle asked Shimkus, using the formal parlance of congressional committees.

“What about men having to purchase prenatal care?” Shimkus said.

At that point, one could hear the room start to stir.

“I’m just . . . is that not correct?” Shimkus said. “And should they?”

For that matter, why should men pay child support or wear a condom or change a diaper. After all, it’s not THEIR problem. 

Not only do they not have any idea what insurance is and how it works, they are deliberately going after pregnant women and their fetuses, who they claim to worship with maniacal intensity.  

There’s just not enough shame in the world. 

Never sleep with a Republican. 

Seeing Red on International Women’s Day

Soy feminista 

Je suis une feministe

I am a feminist. 

I’ve been a feminist from the time I first understood what that word meant at about age 11. Most people who know me remember me as a fierce feminist who didn’t want to take her husband’s name, thought strict gender roles between married couples were outdated, and became a chemist because, fuck it, science is what I wanted to do all my life. 

And there were people who definitely did not make it easy for me, the first girl, the first anyone in my family to go to college.  But I got there, stumbled through it and did what I loved for 23 years. 

It seems to me like it was more socially acceptable back in the late 70’s and early 80’s to be a feminist and boldly defend equal rights and opportunities. Because what woman in her right mind would want to roll us back to the 50’s? How could that possibly make sense in the 20th, now 21st, century?  It was unthinkable. I still don’t understand how so many women have decided to embrace their second class status like it’s their right and voted in the most degrading, disrespectful misogynist in the country. 

We’ve made a lot of progress but have still been largely locked out of the power offices. And that is about to hurt us in ways we can’t even imagine yet. Now, it’s more than thinkable. 

I’d like to think that a Day Without Women will have an impact but I think we will have to peaceably assemble a lot more with our pink pussy hats on to get the attention that the majority of the world’s population deserves. 

I’m at work today because I have to give a presentation and it couldn’t wait. I’m wearing my red sweater and my bright plummy red lipstick. I feel comfortable in my skin and never regretted my gender. 

But I am seriously mad as hell about the recent turn of events. 

I’m not going down without a fight. 

“Women’s rights are human rights” 

                        – Hillary Clinton. 

Don’t forget to check out Lady V’s page UpholdTheseRights for latest updates on women’s rights. 

If this ad from the last days of the 2016 campaign doesn’t make you angry about what we lost, then you aren’t paying attention. 

Yeah, we could have had THAT.