A Colonoscopy with the 19th Amendment

So Rush Limbaugh apologized, sort of. It was a pretty weak apology, obviously, and of course it starts out with an excuse, right up front, first sentence.

For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week.

This is the conservative version of personal responsibility, folks.

In the second sentence, Rush seems to imply that the real problem was that he forgot to bring his thesaurus to work that morning.

 In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation.

Right. Because Rush’s main point was correct, but he chose the wrong words?

By the third sentence, he gets down to lying.

I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.

Of course he did.

Rush said that Ms. Fluke was asking Congress to pay her for having sex. He wondered aloud whether this made her a slut and/or a prostitute. He suggested that she must have boyfriends lined up around the block. He suggested to her that perhaps she should consider having not so much sex. He suggested that he’d be willing to pay for that sex if he could watch the video tapes. He said that her parents should be ashamed of her. This did not happen in one show, in a single segment where he momentarily lost his mind. It happened over a course of three days on three broadcasts.

Word choice was not the problem.

And make no mistake, Rush didn’t apologize because he thought about it and felt bad. He apologized because he lost about eight sponsors in four days.

The Virginia legislature passed that transvaginal ultrasound bill before revising it in the face of public outcry. But Virginia isn’t alone. Texas has had a similar law enacted three weeks ago. Similar laws have been passed and are being challenged in North Carolina and Oklahoma. Alabama, Kentucky, Rhode Island, and Mississippi are also considering transvaginal ultrasound legislation. Twenty states now require some sort of ultrasound before an abortion can be performed. Small government!

Since Republicans swept into power on promises of fixing the economy in 2010, they have enacted 92 laws in 24 states to restrict abortion.

This is your government in the hands of the GOP, America. Jobs, jobs, jobs!

In January, the Susan G. Komen Foundation decided that Planned Parenthood would no longer receive a grant to provide free breast cancer screenings because 3% of its services were for abortion. The ensuing scandal forced out (former GOP gubernatorial candidate) Karen Handel, but the damage to Komen’s reputation was done.

This is what the GOP is all about. They have shown their collective ass. It’s time to shove the 19th amendment up it.

It's for their own good.

New rule: If you can’t say “vagina” you can’t legislate vaginas.

Republicans had already nearly overloaded the WTF processing centers of my brain with the freakout over a contraception coverage mandate in the Affordable Care Act that exempted churches and was more lenient than the existing laws in such states as Newt Gingrich’s Georgia.

So the proposed Virginia state legislation that mandated non-consensual trans-vaginal ultrasounds to women who wished to have an abortion kind of pushed me over the edge. My wife and I watch the news and we occasionally just kind of look at each other with these weird looks, like, “you’re seeing this too, right?”

I’m currently reading Stephen King’s book “11/22/63” about a time-traveling liberal trying to thwart an assassination (can you guess which one? probably!) and reading the character’s reactions to the outdated (?) culture of the 1960s has been eerily familiar to my own reactions when reading about the 2012 GOP. I feel like we are living through a reverse time travel story, where instead of one person going back in time, everybody is.

Anyway, here’s a video of a Republican state legislator David Albo, relating what he means to be an amusing story about his wife refusing sex with him because of his association with the trans-vaginal bill.

What I found particularly astonishing (as did others, including Chris Hayes on Up with Chris Hayes, and have I mentioned yet how everyone should be watching that show?) was that Mr. Albo seems incapable of uttering the word “vagina.” Instead, he used “trans-V”, as in the “V-word”, effectively putting the vagina in the same category with the worst racial epithets.

A word exercise for Mr. Albo: Virginia, vagina, Virginia, vagina, Virginia, vagina, Virginia, vagina. There. You should be good to go now.

Charles Johnson, at LittleGreenFootballs, found this little gem from the Daily Caller:

Last week, Republican Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell backed off provisions in a bill that may have required women to undergo a “transvaginal ultrasound” if they chose to have an abortion.

Opponents of those provisions may have MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow to thank for helping to scuttle them.

During the episodes of “The Rachel Maddow Show” that aired between February 14 and February 24, Maddow repeatedly attacked the bill, uttering the words “vaginal” or “vagina” 58 times.

Here’s the daily tally:

February 14 – 4
February 15 – 9
February 16 – 2
February 17 – 0
February 20 – 5
February 21 – 1
February 22 – 14
February 23 – 5
February 24 – 18

Apparently the use of the word “vagina” is so offensive that the Daily Caller is documenting its usage in excruciating detail, so as to prove that… okay, I’m not sure they even know what it would prove, but they are keeping track.

These guys are killing me.

ILU-486: A Short Story by Amanda Ching

I found a link to this short story on the Angry Black Lady Chronicles. It was written by a woman named Amanda Ching, and posted on her blog. I think Ms. Ching is going to start getting a bit of traffic.

Brandie had told her once that her older sister got birth control by hanging a white shirt out her window, so that it was visible from the street. A few days later a little bottle of pills had arrived, with instructions on how to take them. When she was out, Brandie’s sister just tucked some money in the bottle and dumped it in a flower pot on her windowsill. The bottle was eventually replaced. Brandie told her that even when her sister didn’t have money to put in the bottle, they still refilled it.

As a nerd, I have a great deal of interest in speculative fiction, and how it reflects on our current situation, and what the author thinks of our current situation. A year ago, I would have considered this particular story beyond just speculative, and well into the realm of science fiction, complete with dystopian police state. I’m still kind of shocked at the turn that GOP politics has taken in the last year, especially in the last few weeks.

Regardless of anyone’s personal feelings about the subject of abortion, conservatives who claim to believe in small government should remember that Roe was so decided at least partially because the implications of adequate enforcement would require the kind of police state that this story relates.

Synchronicity and the Komen debacle

It really is amazing what they have managed to (un)do in a very short time, and one thing it reminded me of is the thrilling tale of Ocean Marketing, where one email chain of really bad customer service basically sunk a career and a small business.

Of course, Komen wasn’t a small company at all, but a huge multi-million dollar brand ostensibly d/b/a a charitable organization that cares deeply about issues of life.

Pro Life!


And now, this releases today:

And it makes you wonder about things.

Give you an example; show you what I mean: suppose you’re thinkin’ about a plate o’ shrimp. Suddenly someone’ll say, like, plate, or shrimp, or plate o’ shrimp out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin’ for one, either. It’s all part of a cosmic unconciousness.

UPDATE @ 11:38 West coast (civilized) time: John Cole over at balloon-juice suggests that we liberals should treat Komen the way the right treated ACORN.  Sounds about right.

Komen for the Cure Fail

I realize that everyone has pretty much already weighed in on this stupid story, so I probably don’t have much useful to add, but I would love to get some satisfactory answers to this question some day from one of my many “Pro Life” friends/family members.

Are you so blinded with (righteous?) anger at the thought of some woman aborting a pregnancy before the baby is capable of brain activity, that you would potentially sentence other women to horrific early painful deaths from breast cancer?

And yes, those quotation marks belong around the words “Pro Life”.  The religious right had really better hope that they are wrong and there is no God, because otherwise they are going to have a very bad Judgement Day for all the evil they do in his name.

Just disgusted.

Pretty Charts of Florida GOP Primary Crosstabs

Last night Mitt Romney won Florida with 46% of the vote, easily besting Newt Gingrich who received 32% of the vote.  As I did after the South Carolina primary, I looked at CNN’s exit polling and fed their cross tabs data into Crosstabs Grapher (now available, free of charge!) to make some pretty charts.

If you go to the CNN page you can see that they have breakdowns in almost 50 categories. In the large majority of these categories Mitt Romney won every single breakdown, which isn’t surprising considering his margin of victory.  I’ve chosen to graph several of the cross tab categories where Romney did not win all the categories, so that we can see what these exceptions might mean.  I wanted to state this upfront so that it doesn’t appear that I am trying to build a narrative for a Gingrich candidacy.  The data clearly indicate* a Romney victory in the sense that there are so few breakdowns where Romney doesn’t win every single category.

Our first graph is from our teaser last night, Vote by Age.

Romney won every single age breakdown here, whereas Ron Paul had won in the 9% of voters ages 18-29.  The big takeaway here is that this group of young voters comprised only 6% of the Florida GOP vote.

Next we have Vote by Ideology.

This is the group that Newt Gingrich promised he would win, and he did, sort of.  Among voters who described themselves as Very Conservative (33% total), Gingrich won 41% to Romney’s 30%.  However, as the Romney campaign has pointed out, if you combine the Very Conservative and Somewhat Conservative groups, Romney wins 41% to 37% for Gingrich.

Here’s the chart for Vote by Opinion of the Tea Party:

Again, Gingrich won among those who Strongly Support the Tea Party (35%) with 45% of their vote.  However, as with Ideology above, if you combine the Strongly Support and Somewhat Support categories, Romney wins that with 41% to Gingrich’s 37%.  Ron Paul wins only 5% of voters who say they Strongly Support the Tea Party.  Dear Dr. Paul, you are not a Tea Party candidate.  Some Disagree.

There are two other demographic groups that Gingrich won, and they are Vote by White Evangelicals/Born Again:

And Vote by Opinion on Abortion:

The opinion on abortion cross tabs are interesting because 37% of Republicans in the Florida GOP believe that abortion should be Always Legal or Mostly Legal.  In fact, the Republicans who believe that abortion should be Always Illegal, the group that Gingrich won with 44%, make up only 22% of Republican voters, which is less than the number of Republican voters who believe abortion should be Mostly Legal.

Romney had a good night last night.  He should have, considering the amount by which he outspent his opponents.  But there may be vulnerabilities in here for him, especially if Rick Santorum decides to drop out of the race and endorse Gingrich, which doesn’t seem particularly likely.

* – correct plural usage of data.  Victory is mine.