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It can’t happen here? Sure it could. They’re already working on it.

All together now:

“But her emails!!”

Necessary Outrageous Precautions

I saw something similar to this the other day. Post Roe is not going to just affect poor and minority women. It’s going to affect everyone, female and male. No one gets out of this unscathed. Here’s the first big warning:

Also recommended:

  • Don’t use a credit card to buy pregnancy tests.
  • If you’re of child bearing age, don’t buy pregnancy tests at all. Have an older woman buy them for you.
  • Don’t buy pregnancy tests at a self checkout line where there might be a camera. Walmart and CVS were mentioned.
  • You know when you go to your doctor for something as simple as pink eye and they ALWAYS ask you when your last menstrual cycle was? Don’t answer that question.
  • Submit urine samples ONLY for the tests required and make sure you see the contents of the cup flushed. Ask in advance if your urine will be tested for pregnancy on top of your required test. If it is, or they tell you it’s routine, find another doctor.

Men are going to have to get used to unwanted children. They’re going to have to pay for that. Better make sure your girlfriend has a backup plan with Plan B, funds to travel out of state, and costs of medical or surgical abortion. If in doubt, put your junk back in your pants and walk away until you have an agreement.

Plan for more children than you expected in your life. Accidents happen, you might be living in Mississippi and it’s a long drive to the nearest clinic, IFF you are allowed to leave your state at all. If you have an abortion and return to your trigger state and anyone finds out about it, you should know that some state legislatures are planning to charge you with obtaining an illegal abortion, or they will sue anyone who helped you get to the clinic by providing transportation or funds. The doctors in other states may be charged by your state of residence for helping you escape motherhood. Now we really are entering the world of the Handmaid’s Tale. Fortunately for some women, especially in states like WV and Ohio, Pittsburgh is proactively passing local ordinances that will 1.) put enforcing abortion restrictions on a back burner, 2.) protecting the medical staff and people who provide transportation from out of state lawsuits 3.) crisis pregnancy centers will be required to tell women up front what they are. No deceptions or delays allowed.

Of course this has a Cinderella time limit. If Josh Shapiro doesn’t get elected governor in November in Pennsylvania, all abortion rights and protections here will go poof! The golden carriage will turn into a pumpkin, the footmen mice will be turned into the police and your beautiful ball gown will be magically transformed into maternity jeans.

I can’t envision a scenario where this reversal will not impact the lives of women with full time careers. It will. It will happen in southern states first. I predict a certain smugness. When people have power over other people, they can’t help but look at the powerless as less than 100% equal or even human. Insert Stanford Prison Experiment here.

Employers are going to seriously reconsider giving women of childbearing ages work or projects that require a lot of responsibility. There might be months of maternity leave down the road or a shortage of childcare. Why hire or promote when Brad can be available all the time? He’s putting his career first. And that’s going to impact a lot of household economies. If you are relying on your wife’s salary and she confides in someone that she’s unintentionally pregnant anf the state takes over her life to protect the fetus when that friend spreads that confidence around, you might be stuck with an 18 year responsibility that you didn’t need. And let’s be clear here, married women who get pregnant are going to be expected by society to not put an unwanted child up for adoption. The pressure on them will be intense. Women will be mommy tracked whether they want it or not.

Come to think of it, there might be fewer women going to college. Sure. Why spend money on a daughter who might end up dropping out in her sophomore year because she unintentionally got knocked up and her partner left the country for study abroad – indefinitely? It starts to look like throwing money away with a poor ROI.

Some states are trying to pass laws to prohibit employers from helping their female employees travel to safe states for procedures. Yes, they intend to go that far. That will affect a lot of American corporations that are already short staffed.

It’s going to be a nightmare. But I doubt suburban women who voted Republican in 2016 and just wanted a change and couldn’t stop hating Hillary for what Bill did with Monica were thinking about the implications at the time. People can be extremely short sighted and lack the twisted imagination of a fanatical religious anti-choice activist. They are diabolically clever.

The blow against half the country’s population is only the first assault. The next one will target all that money you paid into social security and Medicare all through the years. Don’t believe me? Ok. I’m just being hysterical. I’m exaggerating. People EARNED that money. They’ll never touch social security.

Yeah, that’s what they told us about Roe 6 years ago.

***********

And now a musical interlude for all of the women who just got Catholicism as their official religion:

Hall of Shame

There are so many things to write about, in the aftermath of the Dobbs decision, which for the first time in American history, had a Supreme Court taking away a personal right which had been previously granted by an earlier Supreme Court, and had actually been law for fifty years, with hundreds of millions of people relying on it.

We need to look at whether we can overcome this, and get the right back; how we can possibly combat the fascist theocrats who bid to take over he country; what our chances might be in the November elections. But I feel like focusing, just for now, on the various people and forces who got us here. Of course the Republicans were the prime evildoers, but that were plenty of useful idiots, spiteful fools, arrogant and self-indulgent people who would always convince themselves that they were on the right side, but whose actions and statements played right into the hands of evil.

I have a very good memory for things; not everything, but particularly those with an emotional content. My parents were very good at that, too; they had all sorts of stories about which Congressman or radio personality helped Joe McCarthy spread his reign of terror, or who helped Nixon rise to power, or which celebrity supported him. We would be watching or discussing a movie, and one or both of my parents would tell me how much they disliked this or that star, and it was often because of their politics. They would never forget, and I admired them for that, because one shouldn’t, one should not let bad people slither away from responsibility, even though of course most of them do not face any direct consequences.

So I do that, too. And there are a few people which stand out in my mind over the past twenty years or so, those who contributed in their way to the virtual takeover of America by fascists. This is not like Nixon’s Enemies List, I am not planning to do anything more than mention them; maybe some people will think less of them, which would be some small salve. The list is in no order of degree or chronology.

All the media who in the 2000 election, kept trying everything they could to even up the race between the respected Vice President Al Gore, who had been a senator, who had served in Vietnam as a journalist, who was quite intelligent; and his opponent GW Bush, who was a governor in a state where the Lieutenant Governor had more power; who had gone AWOL from his National Guard post, who had no knowledge or interest in any aspect of governing.

So they kept making the campaign about Gore fundraising at a Japanese Temple; about his uncertainty as to what color suit to wear; about him audibly sighing at the first presidential debate. This was the first notable example of “both-sidesing” a crucial race, to give the far less knowledgeable and articulate Republican a chance to defeat the Democratic candidate.

Then in the famous recount in Florida, the media’s efforts to avoid pointing out that Gore would surely win if the votes were recounted. That really is all that should have mattered. The Supreme Court stopped the recount just before Gore pulled ahead for good. And putting that all aside for a moment, the amount of votes for Ralph Nader in Florida easily were enough to have given Gore the presidency, had even half of them voted for Gore, instead of throwing the vote away. And do we remember the “butterfly ballots” which confused some elderly voters so that they punched in a vote for Pat Buchanan? For want of a nail…

Then, in 2004, faced with a similar problem, the media managed to make the election about whether decorated Veteran John Kerry had actually made it all up, or shot himself, as the right-wing fanatics claimed. Special mention goes to Chris Matthews, who put the “Swiftboaters” on his show every single day, with the tease, “We have new claims by the Swiftboat people.” They were all utter lies, slanders, but they made for good ratings for Matthews.

Out of all this, we got the Iraq War, a devastating collapse of the housing market, and Roberts and Alito on the Supreme Court.

Then we had President Obama, who does not go on the list, but who sat there and did nothing while Mitch McConnell, in a stunning display of contempt, refused to let the Senate hold a hearing on swing Justice nominee Merrick Garland. Obama had a 53% “Favorability Rating” which he had carefully cultivated by never combating Republicans; but even in his last months of tenure, he would not risk any of it, by going on national TV and attacking this absolute contempt for the judicial system, and very likely unconstitutionality, on a daily basis, and sending the issue of whether “advise and consent” is an affirmative duty, to the 4-4 Supreme Court. He just let it go, something no Republican would ever do.

And then we had the 2016 campaign, where the media outdid itself in desperately trying to make Trump look coherent, and disparaging Hillary Clinton in every way possible. We remember if far too well to want to review it again, except for a few names that stand out to me. So many people who latched onto the biggest political red herring of all time, her mail server and emails, as if they were either incredibly bad journalists, or wanted Trump to win, or were so excited to be able to attack her every hour, and maybe get some kind of prize for it.

Do you remember Carl Bernstein, excited to be back on TV again, saying that he was sure that “the email story was bigger than Watergate?” Or Matt Lauer and the others who thought they were Perry Mason, and that she was going to confess to something, anything, or just break down and cry, or else attack them, so that they could attack her more?

Of course there is Bernie Sanders and his Bernie Bros, whom I have mentioned on several occasions, but they cannot be ignored, and he and they are still there.

Then there is Eddie Glaude, who seems to have become a regular guest on various shows on MSNBC, who said that it was a race between “the devil you know” (presumably Hillary), and “the devil you don’t know (presumably Trump), “and why should you have to vote for a devil?” Glaude said that he was not voting in the election. Somehow this has not destroyed his chances to ever be on TV again, as he just carries on as if he had no responsibility at all for the societal problems he angrily declaims about. How many people followed him, or Susan Sarandon, and did not vote in that election?

Then Maggie Haberman of the NYT, who somehow got a Pulitzer Prize by writing down everything that Trump fed to her on a daily basis. She is still doing it. And who can forget her excited tweet, “Looky here! I’ve just gotten my hands on an advance copy of ‘Clinton Cash.'” That was a Far Right funded book whose claims were completely debunked by credible journalists, but boy, did she want Trump to win, it made her career.

We of course have NYT Editor Dean Baquet, who has turned the once prestigious paper into a right-wing rag with a thin veneer of class. Their infamous headlines the week before the election, “Clinton campaign jolted by new emails” (there were no new emails). and “FBI finds no clear link between Trump and Russia” (also a lie planted by Giuliani’s cabal in SDNY), probably decided the election.

And of course combined with FBI Director Comey being so afraid of the Republicans in Congress, and hating the Clintons so much, that he did exactly what the Trump people wanted, and implied that he was reopening an investigation, which he recanted as soon as he saw that there were no new emails, that the FBI had held onto Anthony Weiner’s laptop in order to invent this falsity, but of course it was too late. To this day, Comey has never accepted any blame for this travesty, not that it would have mattered.

And then there were the Intelligence reports that President Obama was receiving; we read in a story from after the election, that they were coming from six different intelligence agencies, that Russia and Putin were interfering with the election on behalf of Trump. The sourced story stated that Obama went to McConnell to ask him to make a joint statement with him about this immensely serious matter, but McConnell not only refused, he said that he would verbally charge Obama with unduly trying to influence the election from the White House.

So Obama apparently backed down, made no statements, and as we know, there was major collusion between Trump and Russia, with Manafort being central to that, giving polling date to Kilimnik, who then worked with Cambridge Analytic to craft thousands of fake news stores on Facebook to specifically target voters in key states. Once Trump took power, investigations into this were shut down or blocked, Comey was fired, and so the story that Obama had been given, never got out to the American people before the election, or even after it.

So that got us Trump, and then Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett, Barrett’s nomination being rammed through right before the next election, when voting had already started. It is really as simple as that. All the things that so many millions of people are now miserable and frightened about, could mostly have vanished, had these other steps, the virtually impotent reaction to them by President Obama, and then the media’s bias, greed, and complete dereliction of duty, not taken place. Obama may have meant well both times, but didn’t want to fight, so let McConnell get his way, and roll over him. For want of a battle, the kingdom was lost.

And we must have a special paragraph for the NYT’s Maureen Dowd, whose weird combination of Mean Girl jealousy, and twisted sexual predilections, caused her to gush over the “manliness” of GW Bush, and mock the “wimpiness” of Al Gore; to write columns like “Donald the dove, Hillary the hawk,” and “Donald Trump is wicked, but he’s wicked smart,” and to pursue Hillary Clinton for decades on a daily basis, like one of the Eumenides. And she is still there, not an iota or reflection or remorse in her psyche.

There are more such people, but those are the ones who most come to mind right now. Virtually everything that is happening now is a direct result of those past elections, and of the stupid and arrogant people and malicious jerks who caused it to, or let it happen.

And many might say that this is all in the past, and that we must focus on the future, what we must do now. But I would say that this is is not just about calling people out, and holding them responsible for what they did, but that if we don’t see the path, we will certainly end up just letting them, or others of the same nature, do it many more times, and then there will be no way to come back from it.

Past is more than just prologue, it is precedent and pattern. All the terrible things that Republicans have done, and are now even accentuating, could not have succeeded nearly so well, if they had not been aided every step of the way by their pawns and self-righteous dupes, who will get right back to it once the shock of the overturning of Roe v. Wade has subsided. We have to combat them nearly every bit as much as the Republicans.