This piece was cross-posted with permission from the Ms. Magazine Blog.
On Tuesday, Mother Jones released an audio recording of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaking with members of his reelection staff. Much of the conversation focused on actor Ashley Judd, who, until recently, was rumored to be mulling a run against the current Senate GOP leader. For the most part, the recording is typical opposition research. An aide rehearses Judd’s public politics: She loves Obamacare, is pro-gay marriage and self-identifies as a feminist.
None of this, of course, is much of a surprise — Judd campaigned for President Obama and has spoken publicly on behalf of NARAL Pro-Choice America. More disconcerting than the rehashing of Judd’s political ideology, however, is when the discussion veers from policy to Judd’s reproductive choices and then quickly to her mental health. Keep reading »
Remiss as I am to give Ann Coulter any attention, this is just obscene: the Fox News commenter wrote a blog post in which she suggested Meghan McCain, daughter of Sen. John McCain and a Republican commentator, should be killed.
Coulter blogged on Fox about MSNBC host Martin Bashir, mis-stating (as NYMag.com explains) that he had suggested Republican senators wouldn’t support gun control unless they had members of their families killed:
“MSNBC’s Martin Bashir suggested that Republican senators need to have a member of their families killed for them to support the Democrats’ gun proposals. (Let’s start with Meghan McCain!)”
Yup, she just suggested that John McCain’s daughter should be murdered. Really, Ann Coulter? Keep reading »
Abortion foes in the Arkansas State Senate passed a bill yesterday to ban certain funding grants to Planned Parenthood. The chosen grants heading to the chopping block? Sex education. Which sucks, because Planned Parenthood provided the state’s sex ed.
According to Think Progress, Arkansas lacks a codified set of sex education requirements, which is why Planned Parenthood stepped in to do HIV/AIDS and STD/STI education in the state. A Republican health education teacher, and assistant football coach, Darrell Seward, told the Huffington Post over the phone:
“I would challenge any legislator or politician in the state of Arkansas or higher to set foot in my classroom and listen to the curriculum and walk out and say it’s a bad program. This program has been one of the most well-received programs that our students have ever been engaged in. I am a Republican, but this is one issue I feel very strongly about, because I see the benefit for our kids.”
So why take away these funds? Well because the bill’s sponsor doesn’t like any state funding to go to any organization that has anything to do with abortion or abortion referrals. Keep reading »
“Every cloud has a silver lining, and one of the benefits of the exclusion of women from most professions was that we had wonderful teachers, especially the women who today would probably be CEOs.”
– This is Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia reflecting on his childhood in New York City for New York magazine’s “Childhood In New York” issue, which was apparently quite lovely because of sexism. Might I remind you this person sits on our nation’s highest court in the land? Wonder how many times Justice Elena Kagan has to stop herself from rolling her eyes. [NYMag.com]
“Margaret Thatcher was a pioneer, willingly or unwillingly, for the role of women in politics. Her hard-nosed fiscal measures took a toll on the poor, and her hands-off approach to financial regulation led to great wealth for others. There is an argument that her steadfast, almost emotional loyalty to the pound sterling has helped the UK weather the storms of European monetary uncertainty. To have withstood the special hatred and ridicule, unprecedented in my opinion, leveled in our time at a public figure who was not a mass murderer; and to have managed to keep her convictions attached to fervent ideals and ideas — wrongheaded or misguided as we might see them now — without corruption — I see that as evidence of some kind of greatness, worthy for the argument of history to settle. To have given women and girls around the world reason to supplant fantasies of being princesses with a different dream: the real-life option of leading their nation; this was groundbreaking and admirable.”
— Here’s Meryl Streep, who portrayed former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the 2011 film “The Iron Lady,” remembering the politician, who died today at age 87.
After the jump, others remember the controversial yet pioneering Thatcher, who was Great Britain’s first and only female PM: Keep reading »
“You have to be careful to, first of all, say she is brilliant and she is dedicated and she is tough, and she is exactly what you’d want in anybody who is administering the law, and making sure that everybody is getting a fair shake. She also happens to be by far the best-looking attorney general in the country — Kamala Harris is here. It’s true! C’mon … And she is a great friend and has just been a great supporter for many, many years. She’s brilliant and she’s dedicated.”
This is how President Barack Obama introduced California Attorney General Kamala Harris at a fundraiser in CA yesterday — high praise, to be sure, but the “best-looking” comment is a touch too far.
I have many feelings about this. One is that it was a stupid gaffe, but not surprising: Obama may be more of a feminist than any president in history, but he still lives in the same sexist society that the rest of us do. It’s a society where he once called a female reporter “sweetie” and where a woman’s appearance is seen as something men are entitled to comment publicly upon, even in a professional setting. Keep reading »
Michigan Republican National Committee member Dave Agema didn’t get the memo. Support for LGBT equality is at an all time high, poll numbers show that gay marriage is widely accepted — especially by younger generations. OH WAIT and beyond polls and numbers the LGBT community deserves to be treated like every other American with full rights, free from stigma because that’s just a decent human thing to do. Even Agema’s own party is beginning to see the light — or at least 21 of them who asked the RMC member to resign after posting anti-gay comments on Facebook. Keep reading »
My college best friend and I coined the term “bipolar week.” It was used to describe a week filled with both overwhelmingly amazing events and truly terrible moments: winning a prestigious award and then getting dumped by your boyfriend, or perhaps acing a midterm and losing a childhood pet. When reflecting on this past week, in terms of LGBT rights, I could really only describe it as a week “having or relating to two poles or extremities.” The highs: two cases before the Supreme Court to treat gays and lesbians like, you know, actual people.
The low you ask? Well the low can be found in Kansas. It’s so ridiculous it might as well be a perverse Oz: a bill passed in the State Senate which has language that would quarantine those who are HIV-positive or have AIDS. I would insert a Judy Garland joke about being a gay icon, but this is really not a laughing matter. It’s completely f**ked! Keep reading »
Former three-term Senator Alan Simpson of Wyoming is an equal opportunity critic, throwing judgement at both President Obama and his own Republican party. He’s known to be blunt with his opinions (regardless of hate mail) and this past week was no exception. He spoke frankly to a reporter at a local Chamber of Commerce in his hometown of Cody, Wyoming about gay rights, abortion, and why Republicans should stay out of social issues.
In a surprisingly candid comment, Simpson said, “[Abortion] is a hideous thing. It’s terrible. … But it’s a deeply intimate and personal thing. … Men legislators shouldn’t even vote on it.” Wow, that’s not even an opinion that man liberal politicians espouse!
More good Simpson-isms after the jump: Keep reading »
“Outside of the marriage context, can you think of any other rational basis, reason, for a state using sexual orientation as a factor in denying homosexuals benefits or imposing burdens on them? Is there any other rational decision-making that the government could make? Denying them a job, not granting them benefits of some sort, any other decision?”
– Here’s Supreme Court Justice/all-around baller Sonia Sotomayor‘s response to the anti-gay argument during the Prop 8 hearing this week. Lawyer Charles Cooper, who was defending California’s Prop 8 ban on gay marriage, had nothing to say in response. A “wise Latina” indeed! [Latina]