Fly And Find the New Green Bough

In comments at Firedoglake, DW Bartoo asks:

Hmmm.

Let me see if I understand what you are saying, DDay.

All these people, and no one knows how many, suffered the catastrophe of losing their homes to massive criminal bank fraud, which Barack Obama has defended as not illegal, even as he has surrounded himself with some of the principle “players”, executives of those very banks, as his advisers, friends, and money-laden allies.

Would that be correct?

And while this was going on … and afterwards, these people, who might have voted for Barack Obama were simply abandoned BY Barack Obama. He did not, in the political vernacular, “Have their backs”.

Would that be correct?

Now, today, Barack Obama decides that HE has need of these people, not to help THEM, but so that they might help HIM … win an election.

Would that be correct?

So, doing what would have been the right thing to do, the just, the humane, AND the proper thing to do … Barack Obama did not or would not do … instead, HE is desirous that those whom HE has treated very poorly, by any rational or reasonable measure, should have HIS back?

Would that be correct?

Once again, it would seem that everything is about Obama, his needs, his priorities, his election.

Would that be correct?

If all of these things are correct, then what is the “problem” here?

And whose problem is it?

Who “owns” this “problem” … the dispossessed or the man who has nothing but praise for the criminals responsible for the destruction, even as he protects those criminals, as does his party, from criminal AND civil sanction?

What is the very worst thing that can happen to Barack Obama?

What is the very worst thing that can happen to those who are in pain and suffering great loss, now, as they have been for years, and will continue to be in pain and suffering, for years to come, even by the most optimistic of estimates?

Is there a massive disconnect here, both in understanding and consequence?

Correct me if I am wrong, but it certainly appears to me that such is the case.

Why, in the warmest place of human imagination, would or should these people, who have been grievously harmed, come to the aid of a man who has had a central role in their pain and loss?

How would aiding and supporting Barack Obama be, by the wildest stretch of that imagination I just mentioned, of ANY worth or value to those who have been harmed?

Would it not be utter madness, complete insanity, for those many to support either Democrat Barack Obama OR his Republican opponent?

Kansas ain’t the only place, Dorothy, where people are asked and expected to vote against their own best interests.

DW

I have been asking myself the very same questions.

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I’ve Asked Myself How Much Do You

What the fuck is this?

Taliban to U.S.: End drone strikes in Pakistan, or no more polio vaccines

I’m an American woman in my forties. Thinking of the Taliban conjures mental movies of the brutal repression of women and endless tribal conflict and since there’s nothing I can do about any of this, I change the subject. If I can’t change the subject, I leave the room. Mere mention of the Taliban turns some normally rational Americans into frothing idiots, so I wasn’t going to read this article. CNN is like that friend you can’t talk to anymore because you can see the corporate crazy in his eyes, but we did have that one weekend in Rochester, so –

Taliban commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur made the decision on the vaccination ban after consulting with other Taliban leaders, according to the statement.

Bahadur commands the faction of the Taliban based in North Waziristan, the district Washington believes is the main safe haven for the Haqqani network and other militant groups fueling the insurgency in Afghanistan.

It’s not clear how Bahadur’s decree will impact the polio eradication campaign in North Waziristan or in nearby districts, where he doesn’t wield as much power.

It is widely believed that Bahadur is allied with the Haqqani network and provides shelter for the group in North Waziristan. The United States has pushed Pakistan to launch an offensive against the militant groups in North Waziristan, but Pakistani military officials have resisted, saying their troops are stretched too thin.

It’s not like we’re talking about real people or anything, right? What? We are talking about real people? That’s terrible!

In April, U.S. President Barack Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser John Brennan acknowledged the use of U.S. drones.

“Yes, in full accordance with the law – and in order to prevent terrorist attacks on the United States and to save American lives – the United States government conducts targeted strikes against specific al Qaeda terrorists, sometimes using remotely piloted aircraft, often referred to publicly as drones,” Brennan said.

Everyone knows heavily armed toys are dropping bombs on bad guys. And some other guys. And their wedding guests. And neighbors who happened to be out for a walk at the time. And lots and lots of children. Everyone knows this. But but but: Taliban! Our good intentions! Grrrrrr!

“On one hand, the U.S. spends millions of dollars to eliminate polio, while on the other hand it kills hundreds with the help of its slave, Pakistan.”

Pakistan remains one of only three countries that have yet to eradicate polio.

The country’s polio campaign made headlines last year when a Pakistani doctor was linked to a CIA operation to verify Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts with a door-to-door vaccination campaign in the town of Abbottabad, where the al Qaeda leader was hiding before he was killed.

U.S. officials have said the plan did not work, but aid groups and Pakistani health officials have said the CIA’s alleged meddling with a vaccination campaign undermined Pakistan’s efforts to eradicate polio.

Bin Laden’s dead. I don’t know why we’re still talking about him. He’s so 2011. And it’s hard to be scared of the CIA after Bob Novak made us feel so sorry for CIA agents we all took them a casserole. Did you get your correct Pyrex back? Mine has Liz Cheney etched in the bottom with battery acid, which I guess was just lying around at her house. Anyway, this whole Pakistan escapade doesn’t make any sense and no one knows why heavily armed toys are flying around anyway because when you go all I give up, what’s with the bombs? many normally rational people get wild-eyed and extra frothy and can’t believe you’re not shitting your pants over imaginary terrorism. There is no talking to these people. Also: they smell.

A Taliban commander in northwest Pakistan has announced a ban on polio vaccines for children as long as the United States continues its campaign of drone strikes in the region, according to a statement by the Taliban.

“Polio drops will be banned in North Waziristan until the drones strikes are stopped,” said the statement, released Saturday.

“Almost every resident of North Waziristan has become a mental patient because of the drone strikes, which are worse than polio.”

Let’s tally up the score, shall we? The American populace needs new pants, the Taliban sounds rational, bombs are falling on people you can call on your mobile if you have the right phone plan, the survivors are losing their minds, American soldiers are killing themselves at an unbelievable rate, the military is chewing up our federal budget and polio – of all things – wins.

Did I mention the Taliban sounds rational?

With You But You Are Not With Me

Via Angry Black Lady Chronicles, get a load of this shit:

House Republicans prohibited state Rep. Lisa Brown from speaking on the floor Thursday after she ended a speech Wednesday against a bill restricting abortions by referencing her female anatomy.

Brown, a West Bloomfield Democrat and mother of three, said a package of abortion regulation bills would violate her Jewish religious beliefs and that abortions be be allowed in cases where it is required to save the life of the mother.

“Finally, Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but ‘no’ means ‘no,'” Brown said Wednesday.

Brown’s comment prompted a rebuke Thursday by House Republicans, who wouldn’t allow her to voice her opinion on a school employee retirement bill.

“What she said was offensive,” said Rep. Mike Callton, R-Nashville. “It was so offensive, I don’t even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company.”

Brown’s comments were published in Thursday’s Detroit News.

Majority Floor Leader Jim Stamas, R-Midland, determined Brown’s comments violated the decorum of the House, said Ari Adler, spokesman for the Republican majority.

“If I can’t say the word vagina, why are we legislating vaginas?” Brown asked Thursday at a hastily called Capitol press conference. “What language should I use?”

Brown noted “vagina” is the “medically correct term.”

As you may be, so I was inspired to dash off a letter.

Mr. Callton,

Women have vaginas. We talk about them. We use them to start families and for fun. Having a vagina can be fully awesome.

If you think they’re icky or unmentionable, you certainly shouldn’t get to regulate vaginas. That’s ridiculous. In fact, if you look at internet, you are the subject of fantastically funny ridicule, which is delightful. Laughing at men who can’t bear to think of vaginas is great sport. But no, you absolutely have no business going near a vagina.

Seriously, stay away from vaginas if you’re that squicked out. No vagina for you!

Sincerely,

Tata
Vagina! Vagina! Vagina!

I considered paraphrasing Caesar, but that gooey Latin verb joke would just puzzle the guy having trouble with nouns. But not you. And you know what to do.

See the Evil And the Good Without Hiding

When last we left god-forsaken Kansas, it was ready to forsake caring for women, even sick women. Perhaps the bill will pass, perhaps not, but that’s not really this issue, in my opinion. No, the real question is where is the AMA? Why does the AMA not step in and insist that legislators knock off this destructive shit that will make doctors all but uninsurable in Kansas and any other state that permits or, as in New Hampshire, demands doctors lie to patients?

Neutrality favors the oppressor 100% of the time.

It’s the best question the AMA’s website does nothing to address. Have a look at the site. It’s so mild it says nothing at all about anything, really. Fortunately, there’s a contact site, so you can ask the AMA yourself. I wrote a charming, profanity-free letter asking why the AMA is silent when women are harassed, misled, misinformed, mistreated, left untreated and, as far as the statutes are concerned, raped? This is not medical care. It is complicity with torturers.

You too might want to write a letter.

Waiting For the End of the World

Oh Arizona, you slay me:

The American Civil Liberties Union’s Reproductive Freedom Project has called Arizona’s proposed law the “most extreme bill of its kind,” one that would be more restrictive than any others currently in force in the US. Although it includes exceptions if the pregnancy poses a threat to the life of the woman, there are no exceptions if, for instance, the fetus is found to have a life-threatening condition or other severe impairment. Banning abortions at the 18-week mark would also preclude women from obtaining information about the condition of the fetus, as many medical tests are either not performed or are not conclusive at that early date.

The bill doesn’t stop there. Under this law, if a doctor performs an abortion after that 18-weeks, he or she can be charged with a crime, have his or her license revoked or suspended, and can be held liable for civil penalties if the father of the fetus decides to pursue legal action. The bill also requires a mandatory ultrasound for anyone seeking an abortion at any stage of pregnancy (hello, transvaginal probes) and mandates that a doctor offer to show a pregnant woman the ultrasound, describe it to her verbally and provide her with a photo of “the unborn child.” It would also require a woman to wait 24 hours after the ultrasound before she can obtain an abortion.

I have a proposal of my own: it’s time to empty a state of religious wackos and let women move there who want to be left the hell alone. No bishops with squishy, dudely feelings. No snake-handling mouthbreaters pounding their fists and parishoners. No church ladies pursing their lips and pushing their daughters through the abortion clinic’s back doors. No more witchhunts and small-town gossip. Out they all go.

In go women who have no use for men with control issues. In go women who will never need a women’s shelter. In go women who get the healthcare they need in peace. Women can make a living there because there’d be no need to compete with men for jobs, so from construction to scientific research: it’s all women. All women, all the time. It’d be a state with one menstrual cycle for all, but few of us really need those anyhow. Children would never need to fear child molesters.

We’ll take South Carolina. It’s kind of nice there and I like the ocean, but I sure would enjoy hearing Jim DeMint and Lindsey Graham kiss women’s asses in vain attempts to keep their jobs. Let the yahoos and godbotherers clear out and we can all have drinks on the porch on long, sunny afternoons. Men in other states would have to reconsider how they treat women because, in fact, women would have someplace better to go. And when you called, Arizona, you might not hear back from us for a long, long time.