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      I’ve been spending most of my time lately either praying to the porcelain God or wishing I felt other than I do. Nauseau being bad for writing (at least for my writing, perhaps you write great while sick to your stomach), please use this thread to talk among yourselves. I devoutely hope to return to […]
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Is Sarah Palin a feminist?

sarahpalin_200908_477x600_1

My mom dropped by to visit this afternoon and the subject of Sarah Palin came up. I mentioned to her that a number of people in the blogosphere have been arguing that Sarah Palin is not a feminist because she is pro-life. My mom looked at me like I was crazy.

That’s not unusual, she’s been looking at me like that for a long as I can remember, but she asked “What’s that got to do with anything?”

I told her that according to some people “pro-life feminist” is an oxymoron and anyone who isn’t pro-choice is anti-feminist.  My mom said “Some people are idiots” as she stole my last beer from the fridge.

My mom is old school – she was a feminist back when they were called “women’s libbers” and married women were called “Mrs. Husband’s Name.”  I learned to drive in a car with a bumper sticker that said “A Woman’s Place is in the House – and the Senate”

No college diploma, she spent her life in the “pink collar” working class.  She’s not much for “feminist theory,” her life is applied feminism.  When she was a single mom raising me and my older sister she had to deal with the fact that “women’s jobs” didn’t pay enough to support a family.  (Back in the sixties women were supposed to be housewives and men were supposed to be the breadwinners.)

Before she retired my mom was active in NOW, BPW and LWV, and was the local chapter president of the latter two for a while.  Now she’s on the board of the local AARP chapter.

She’s also a devout Christian who thinks abortion is morally wrong.

Feminism is about equality for women.  That encompasses a lot of issues, including gender discrimination, domestic violence and reproductive rights.  Abortion is one issue, but it’s not the only issue.

Conservative women have just as much at stake as liberal women when it comes to job discrimination and sexual harassment.  To exclude them as allies on common issues because they disagree on abortion is absurd.

Caveat – not all conservative women support feminism.  I’m not talking about finding common ground with Phyllis Schlafly.  But when you have a successful “self-made” woman who self-identifies as a feminist  you should keep an open mind.

Right now feminism is perceived by most people to be part of  liberal ideology.  That also means that it is a “Democratic” issue – feminists generally vote for Democratic candidates.  How does that work in practice?

The GOP either ignores or opposes feminist issues.  There are no votes to be had supporting feminism so why not cater to the reactionaries?  But the Democrats take feminists for granted beccause “where else are they gonna go?”

Finding common ground doesn’t mean making compromises.  It means setting aside your differences temporarily to work together on an issue you agree on.  Unless the issue you are working on is abortion why bring it up?


BTW – Not everyone who opposes abortion is an Operation Rescue nut-job. Demonizing or ridiculing people who hold sincere beliefs that are different from ours is not only a waste of time, it’s counterproductive. We can treat their beliefs with respect without agreeing with them.


UPDATE:

Violet Socks seems to be on the same wavelength as me. If I was her I’d be worried.


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Finally Some Good News for Reproductive Freedom

PHARMACY-010SA

Pharmacists can’t refuse Plan B pill, appeals court says

Pharmacists are obliged to dispense the Plan B pill, even if they are personally opposed to the “morning after” contraceptive on religious grounds, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.

In a case that could affect policy across the western U.S., a supermarket pharmacy owner in Olympia, Wash., failed in a bid to block 2007 regulations that required all Washington pharmacies to stock and dispense the pills

Four pharmacists in Washington state had sued the state, claiming the rules violated their First Amendments rights to free exercise of religion, and had won a temporary injunction that allowed them to refuse to sell Plan B as long as they referred customers to another pharmacy.

On Wednesday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the injunction, saying the district court was wrong in issuing it based on an erroneous finding that the rules violated the free exercise of religion clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Other constitutional challenges are pending with the district court, which had been waiting for the 9th Circuit ruling on the injunction

Nevertheless all pharmacies in Washington state are now required to stock and dispense Plan B. Naturally, anti-choice groups are up in arms. The Pacific Justice Institute complains that

…pharmacists may soon be forced to choose between dispensing abortifacients, including Plan B, or leaving the profession.

[….]

The Ninth Circuit today reversed the injunction, holding that it wrongly considered the debate over the regulations in determining that they targeted pharmacists with religious convictions. The Ninth Circuit said the history of the rules was irrelevant since the text does not specifically mention religious beliefs. As a result, a much lower standard applies, under which the government is virtually assured of prevailing in the case. The Ninth Circuit also said that the injunction was overbroad and, if issued at all, should be limited to the specific plaintiffs—not extended to all pharmacists in the state with religious objections.

This anti-choice site is also whining and crying about the decistion.

You know what? That’s just tough. I am so sick and tired of these anti-choice people whining about being required to, you know, do their jobs. If they don’t want to do the job, then they should find another one. Women who need Plan B–perhaps even because they have been raped–should not have their rights to legal medication subordinated to whims of anti-choice fanatics. Frankly, I think the same standards should be applied to doctors and nurses. If you don’t want to perform abortions, then don’t be a doctor. Get into another field in which the responsibilities are in tune with your religious beliefs.


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Obama Losing Support of Independents

Whoa! Yesterday Rasmussen Reports had Obama’s “Presidential Approval Index” at -5. Today it’s -8!

obama_index_july_9_2009

What’s going on?

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows that 30% of the nation’s voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-eight percent (38%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of –8. The President’s Approval Index rating has fallen six points since release of a disappointing jobs report last week (see trends).

What’s more:

Thirty-four percent (34%) of voters nationwide say the U.S. is heading in the right direction, the lowest level of optimism since mid-March. The Rasmussen Index shows consumer and investor confidence are down again today reaching the lowest level in three months. The Discover U.S. Spending Monitor fell for the first time in three months.

Perhaps Obama’s dropping numbers are a reflection of the fact that Independents are not happy with him.

In a potentially alarming trend for the White House, independent voters are deserting President Barack Obama nationally and especially in key swing states, recent polls suggest.

Obama’s job approval rating hit a — still healthy — low of 56 percent in the Gallup Poll on Wednesday. And pollsters are debating whether Obama’s expansive and expensive policy proposals or the ground-level realities of a still-faltering economy are driving the falling numbers.

But a source of the shift appears to be independent voters, who seem to be responding to Republican complaints of excessive spending and government control.

Other polls also show the President’s numbers falling.

Obama retains extremely strong support from Democrats, and earlier this year lost much of the Republican support that followed a giddy Inauguration. It is the independents who appear to be currently on the move: Obama dropped 6 percentage points last week from the week before in Gallup’s tracking poll, and Quinnipiac University found a 5-percentage-point drop in approval from independents between early June and early July. Recent state polling shows drops over longer periods.

A Quinnipiac University poll of voters in economically troubled Ohio, released Tuesday, showed Obama’s approval rating slipping 8 points, to below 50 percent, from a poll two months earlier, with a plurality of 48 percent of independent voters disapproving of his job performance. A Public Policy Polling survey in Virginia found Obama’s approval and disapproval numbers effectively tied, with independents disapproving of the president’s job performance, 52 percent to 38 percent.

At the LA Times, Andrew Malcolm reports that Michelle Obama’s popularity is now higher than her husband’s.

six months of an Obama administration, more than two-thirds (68%) give her a thumbs-up while less than one-third (32%) disapprove. In comparison, after nearly six years in the White House Laura Bush had a 64% approval and a 36% disapproval.

This compares with President Obama’s recent ratings in a similar Harris Poll showing his popularity dipping from 59% to 54% while his disapproval rose from 41% to 46%. On the economy Michelle’s partner fared even worse, with just 43% now approving of his handling of the economy and 57% disapproving.

Is all this just a temporary bump in the road for President Obama, or are we seeing a real trend? Don’t parties in power often lose Congressional seats in the first midterm elections? Maybe it’s time for the President and Congressional Democrats to start doing something for the American people instead of just giving money to the banksters hand over fist.


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Blue Dog health care thoughts

I was thrilled when I read this on Congressman Dennis Moore’s (KS-3) website – because that’s how low my expectations are:

. . . there are approximately 47 million Americans without health insurance and that is unacceptable to me – as it should be to you. We must look for solutions. We must listen to each other, since no political party has a monopoly on good ideas. And, we must work together, with all possible solutions on the table for discussion, to reform our current health care system so that we improve the quality of care, reduce costs and increase access to care for all Americans.

But, wasn’t incredibly surprised to read this clarification in an interview published today in a local paper:

“When you have 47 million people without access to health care, we have a huge problem and we need to address that,” he said. “Can we correct it all in the next few months? Probably not. But we do need to address that as a nation.

“I certainly want to preserve private insurance companies and I don’t want a government-run (health care) program – absolutely not.”

I called his office today to point out that his website confused his priorities and to thank him for clarifying the issue — that to Congressman Moore the bit that is unacceptable is that 47 million Americans aren’t paying for private insurance. . . . . NOT that 47 million Americans don’t have access to health care.

Thank you, Congressman Moore.

Thursday Morning News Links (with a little help from my friend Katiebird)

harvard.square

News from the Boston Area

Good morning, Conflucians! It’s another gray day in New England, but at least the Red Sox are still in first place.

Kansas City Royals play Red Sox this weekend.

José Guillen returned to the lineup — but as the designated hitter — and could spend time this weekend battling the Green Monster, the big left-field wall at Boston’s Fenway Park, in an effort to reduce strain on his aching legs.

Good luck with that, old man.

In other provincial news, legendary local gangster Whitey Bulger is still on the run, and his crimes are still being investigated and prosecuted.

Tall ships arrive in Boston (gorgeous photos!)

Mass. becomes the first state to challenge Federal Defense of Marriage Act.

“Our familes, our communities, and even our economy have seen the many important benefits that have come from recognizing equal marriage rights and, frankly, no downside,” Attorney General Martha Coakley said this afternoon at a news conference announcing the lawsuit. “However, we have also seen how many of our married residents and their families are being hurt by a discriminatory, unprecedented, and, we believe, unconstitutional law.”

Texting trolley driver indicted in crash

Governor’s Race Heats Up in Mass. (scroll down for story)

After years of consideration, republican Charlie Baker has decided to quit his lucrative job as CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care so he can devote his full time to a 2010 Massachusetts gubernatorial bid.

News from Another Corrupt State

Ex-Blagojevich aide pleads guilty, will testify

A blow for Illinois’s Blagojevich in corruption case

Illinois political floodgates open after Madigan passes on governor, Senate bids.

News from Washington, DC

Democrats say CIA deceived Congress for years.

Obama threatens veto of intelligence bill.

Healthcare overhaul bill stalls in Congress

What’s So Scary About Offering People the Option of a Public Health Plan?

Howard Dean: This is ridiculous. We’re 60 Years Behind the Times” on Fixing Health Care

Your candidate won, Howie. So why are you whining?

Cities Lose Out on Road Funds From Federal Stimulus

For [Marion] Barry, a Familiar Script Takes an Unfamiliar Twist Continue reading