Category Archives: Undead sexist cliches

Why we can’t have nice things. For starters, Republicans

Because they’re thrilled, absolutely thrilled that we’re bombing Syria.

•Because if they can’t get the state education budget cuts they want, they veto the entire education budget.

•They elected an authoritarian, borderline fascist president. Who despite all the talk in the campaign (and since) about him Not Being a Politician is now a bog-standard Republican only more openly racist.

•Because President Shit-Gibbon’s AG Jeff Sessions has given up on improving forensic science. Apparently sloppy science often works in the prosecution’s favor, so good science might get more people off. Which would be bad. And he’s going to get even tougher on immigrants. I’m sure he’ll make up for it by not spending any DoJ resources on things like right wing terrorism.

•Because education secretary Betsy Devos has dropped an Obama policy of not contracting with student-loan servicers who screw over borrowers.

•Because electing “godly” people (which large numbers of Republicans stopped worrying about when Trump ran) doesn’t lead to moral government. Nor does electing homophobes.

•Because in Texas the Republicans don’t want minors joining unions without parental consent.

•Because some North Carolina Republicans want to make marriage heterosexual-only again. Ditto Tennessee. And one of the NC legislators, Larry Pittman, puts Lincoln fighting the Civil War in the same class as Hitler. And has also supported a bill canceling the “never secede again” clause in the Constitution. Funny, he doesn’t seem to see any connection between Hitler’s belief in racial superiority and the Confederacy’s support of racial superiority.

•Because they’re voting to let a church have its own police force. I know they say its purely for security, but I have a bad feeling about this …

•Because they give us daily examples of white privilege. And more white privilege (and then whine about how minorities shouldn’t be let into college because, merit!). Which we’re supposed to believe represents rugged individualism.

•Because they’re not answerable to the taxpayers: Oklahoma Rep. Markwayne Mullin says he’s so rich his taxes pay his salary, so he’s really doing it for free. But I’m sure he’s carefully crunched the numbers and eliminated all the other things he gets like roads, law enforcement and the military.

•Because if they can’t repeal Obamacare, they’re willing to shut off the money.

•Because they cut funding to libraries and legal services for the poor.

•Because their media lackeys will insist on explaining, even now, that Trump is identical to Clinton. Or that he’s the Martin Luther King of healthcare.

•Because they think a woman with a dead fetus should carry it to term instead of aborting (Republicans say the bill doesn’t actually require that, but that doesn’t change that Republican Shannon Lundgren, thinking it did, was cool with it).

•Because they’re still convinced this country belongs to Christians and nobody else.

•Because of the angry white men who think they got ripped off.

•Because we get smug Catholic conservatives like Ross Douthat taking up space in the NYT to tell liberals you should all go to church and (a classic!) even atheists know God exists. Though I will admit “go to liberal churches” is an improvement over his usual paeans to right-wing reactionaries and abstinence.

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The tide has turned. That may be a good thing (#SFWApro)

So a couple of weeks ago I was dealing with four different sources of nonfiction, income generating projects. At this point it looks like next week I’ll be down to one. I don’t feel bad about (perhaps in a few months).

The legal articles I was doing for Leaf has now wrapped up. It was fun doing it again — after several years with them back when I first moved up here I know the format and a lot of the topics well — but simply because it was for a limited time I put in a lot more effort than if it had been long-term. So that’ll free up quite a bit of time.

Two of the other income streams I was dealing with have yet to send me any work. Which is good because I had the Leaf stuff — it paid a lot better — and I don’t know how much more I could have handled. I keep wondering if one of them will start next week, enabling me to keep the money flowing. But I wouldn’t mind a week of getting back to mostly fiction, even though I’m still hustling for nonfiction gigs and magazine article ideas.

Screen Rant, of course, remains. I did my newest article this week (Dalek trivia!) but it’s not online yet. Rights to image remain with current holder.

And I did get close to 3,000 words of Southern Discomfort done, but that’s 2,000 short of what I’d planned. I should have stuck with the impulse I followed the previous week: when the nonfiction gets tough, just make myself put in the extra time to get 1,000 words each day. I’d figured I could catch up today — I did my last Leaf article (on the educational power of attorney) yesterday — but no. We had a somewhat chaotic morning with me walking the dogs (TYG was stuck handling something else) and then Plushie went and sat up in the bedroom. When I checked on him he stared at me as if he couldn’t quite figure out why he didn’t have one of his parents next to him to snuggle with (he’s not the sharpest card in the deck). So I settled in with him until he finally headed downstairs. All of which apparently left my brain too unfocused to work on fiction, so I switched to batting out some of Undead Sexist Cliches (The Book). I’m pleased I kept my nose to the grindstone, frustrated I got thrown so easily by morning events (and I had such a good night’s sleep, too!). But like I said, next week looks free and clear for catching up (fingers crossed).

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Filed under Personal, Southern Discomfort, The Dog Ate My Homework, Time management and goals, Undead sexist cliches, Writing

Trump, Trump’s people and some people fighting against them

I wrote last week that the the one time we shouldn’t take Trump literally is when he promises something that will help people. Case in point, Trump is not planning to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. But that doesn’t stop some pundits dreaming that Trump is shifting to the center. Or applauding that as he attacked Syria, that makes him more presidential. Or in one particularly ghastly Politico piece, arguing that Trump running the White House as a family business is a good thing.

•The White House demanded Twitter provide the identity of an alleged government employee tweeting against Trump. Twitter refused. The White House backed down.

•The current FCC chair is working to eliminate the FCC’s new net neutrality policy. Oh, and Charter’s no longer required to compete for customers as part of its Time Warner merger. And with the FCC’s privacy restrictions on Internet providers also toast, one state is looking at imposing its own privacy rule.

•The EPA has postponed banning a pesticide that its own science says is dangerous to humans. It’s getting sued over that decision.

•Slacktivist discusses why Trump voters won’t let us have nice things (because that means people of color get them too). Echidne looks at Trump’s win and his staff as a backlash against feminism. Slacktivist (again) reminds us that when Jesus says we must love our neighbor the person who gets technical about who our neighbors are is doing it wrong.

•A court has ruled that civil rights laws prevents firing or refusing to hire gays.

•Some Republicans are proposing a way to let insurers charge through the roof for pre-existing conditions.

•No, the Democrats filibustering Neil Gorsuch is not at all unprecedented.

•If conservatives can live with Bill O’Reilly and the allegations of sexual harassment against him, why would they be bothered by Trump’s sexism?

•A close-up look at what Trump’s 2005 tax return really shows.

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Hulk must smash and smash again!

A short list of people who deserve some smashing:

•Charles Krauthammer, paraplegic right-wing hack who thinks it’s outrageous maternity care coverage is included in his health insurance as he doesn’t need it. Astonishingly, he doesn’t then suggest that it’s unfair on the able-bodied who don’t need the kind of treatments and wheelchairs he does to have to buy insurance that covers them. Almost like there’s a double standard. Ditto every other guy who objects to buying policies with maternity care but not, say, women buying policies that cover testicular cancer.

•A Lutheran pastor whose response to Mike Pence refusing to eat alone with women says men and women can’t be friends. And even trying is bad because that means they’re not popping out babies America needs to replenish himself (he doesn’t say white babies, but that’s my automatic assumption). As someone whose two best friends are women, dude you’re an ignorant idiot. And so are some of the guys Roy Edroso lists making similar arguments.

•Andrew Bowen, a US columnist who asked Arab News to purge his past columns because they were anti-Trump and might stop him getting a State Department post.

•And everyone involved in a Business Insider richsplaining article about all the way to become wealthy earning minimum wage. Like moving to a more affordable city (because moving across country when you’re broke is sooo easy). Living on $75 worth of food a month (I followed most of their tips, such as eating little meat, when I lived by myself and food bills were still $40 a week). Oh, and increase your annual earnings from $14,000 (at minimum wage) to $32,000. So basically it’s “how to build wealth on minimum wage by not working minimum wage.” richsplaining article.

•Donald Trump ,who condemned Obama for bombing Syria, but has begun aggressively bombing Syria.

•Bank of America for screwing over a couple struggling with their mortgage.

Rape apologists.

Bill O’Reilly, accused sexual harasser.

•Megan McArdle, complaining that the Democrats, as opposition party, are actually opposing stuff. She’s spouting all the usual cliches (and as noted at the link, in full double-standard mode). And she’s McArdle, whose bullshit was the subject of an earlier Hulk Smash post.

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Filed under Politics, Undead sexist cliches

Mike Pence’s fear of women

Mike Pence is not a fan of women except when they’re subjected to suitable male dominance. He objects to women putting their kids in day care so they can work. He thinks abortions should be illegal, and the fetuses buried like babies and while governor made it mandatory.

Now it turns out he also won’t eat alone with a woman to avoid any hint of scandal (he also won’t attend an event involving drinking unless she’s there). This is known as the “Billy Graham Rule” though Graham’s was even stricter — never to be alone under any circumstances with a woman other than his wife (from the article, it doesn’t seem Pence goes that far — though then again, it doesn’t rule it out). Which as the article points out, is a bad deal for women: if a man in authority can’t talk to women alone, that adds another layer to the glass ceiling. As witness the dentist who fired an employee because he lusted for her. And multiple female congressional staffers who can’t be alone with their bosses.

National Review’s David French thinks Pence is wise (not a direct link) — liberals may delude themselves that men and women won’t jump each other the second they get the chance, but conservative Christians know better (yet another version of right-wingers insisting men are bad, so women’s career prospects should suffer). And what happens to bisexuals? Should they refuse to be alone with anyone?

As Slacktivist points out (in contrast to French) the issue isn’t being alone with a woman, it’s wanting to cheat. If Pence wants to, he will, rule or not. If he doesn’t, he won’t, even if he’s alone with a beautiful woman. And no, calling Pence out on this isn’t a “culture war” attack — Pence has spent his entire career engaged in culture warrior-ship (his views on day care go back twenty years).

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Let’s link about sexism some more

According to a University of Texas study, 15 percent of female undergraduates have been raped in college. (hat-tip Stillness of Heart)

•Girls who text guys first are desperate. Abstinence is the only good birth control. Girls have premarital sex because of daddy issues. And other abstinence-only sex-ed bullshit.

•If a pregnant woman’s doctor lies to her about the fetus having birth defects, a Texas bill would prevent her suing him.

•One writer argues feminism drives men to the alt-right because they can’t be breadwinners or heroes any more. LGM suggests they do something heroic instead of whining about feminism. Roy Edroso points out that no matter what reasons they picked to go neo-Nazi, the guys are still neo-Nazis.

•Once again a right-winger (Oklahoma Rep Gary Faught) argues that God rapes women. So rape-exceptions for abortion laws are therefore not justified. By which logic, since God also sends disease, Faught will presumably not seek medical aid if he gets cancer. Anyone want to be on that. A previous post on the topic here.

•While the Trumpcare bill never came to a vote, it’s worth remembering how bad its supporters are, like Rep. John Shimkus who objects to having policies automatically cover prenatal care — after all men don’t need it! So apparently he lives in a world where all women are single mothers and men never have any interest in their babies? And isn’t it odd how these arguments are always about the burden on men — not say, the women whose policies cover Viagra or testicular cancer? Oh and contrary to another senator some men need mammograms.

•The last-minute Trumpcare concessions to the extreme anti-Obamacare Republicans would have required moms on Medicaid get back to work within two months of delivering the baby.

•Trumpcare may have failed but Trump can still cripple the Obamacare system.

•Trump Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch thinks it’s perfectly justified for companies to ask women about whether they plan to have a baby, use parental leave, etc. (all of which is currently illegal) because some women are only going to work for maternity benefits (“Many women do.”). Apparently he’s fine if guys take paternity leave as he doesn’t bring that up — oh, wait, maybe it never entered his mind (I have known guys who spent way more time dealing with new baby stuff than they anticipated).

•Echidne reminds us that for many fundamentalists around the world, women’s bodies are weapons — the tools by which they outbreed the other side. And so, must be controlled for maximum productivity. Case in point, Iowa Rep. Steve King who thinks we can only keep America going by breeding more babies (no immigrants, thank you!). I have a strong suspicion he’s thinking white babies.

•Trump sends anti-feminists to represent us at a U.N. women’s group.

•A woman assaulted in a woman’s bathroom wants anti-trans groups to stop citing her for their cause — she’s not on their side and the man just snuck in, he didn’t pose as a woman.

•You may have heard about a U.S. Marine online network that shared naked photos of their female comrades. Even creepier, some of them sent out requests for photographs of specific women. Which the Marine commander brushes off as Guys Will Be Guys. As I’ve said before, nobody has more contempt for men than anti-feminists. Echidne points out that if this sort of thing discourages women from serving, sexists will argue women just don’t choose to be Marines.

•A female racing fan writes about the sexism she deals with as a female fan. For example, if you support a losing team, someone will mansplain that you made a bad choice; if you support a winning team, well you just pick them because they’re winning, which is shallow.

•Sexism in the tech industry is a feature, not a bug.

•New Hampshire Republicans rejected a proposal to raise the 14-year-old age of marriage in the state, because (they said) it would mean more babies born out of wedlock.

•United Airlines refused to let two ten-year-olds fly because they wore leggings.

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Trump, Trump’s budget and his faithful voters

So as I previously blogged about, Trumpcare actually makes things worse for poor, rural and older voters. And his budget now takes a hacksaw to pretty much everything but military spending, for example Meals on Wheels. Which at the link Trump’s budget director explains needs to guarantee the money is “used in a proper function,” which in this context is pure bullshit. It’s being used to feed people who need it, that’s its function. Mr. Mulvaney doesn’t even go so far as to trot out the usual cliches about waste and fraud, just … oh, I don’t know. Oh, and Trump also wants to gut the CDC and National Institute of Health because … well, he’s got the money for a doctor, why should he care? Echidne offers some thoughts about the budget including cuts to other services to the poor. And about Mulvaney’s tough talk. And that while the CBO predicts insurance premiums will go down after 2020 (after an initial increase), that’s because of things like fewer seniors having insurance. Not to mention that by restricting the use of Planned Parenthood for Medicaid patients, it prevents lots of poor people from getting breast or cervical cancer screenings, let alone abortions or birth control (and will therefore lead to lots more unplanned and unwanted pregnancies (Side note: Paul Ryan, who was able to save for college because his family received Social Security Disability, but that didn’t stop him from wanting to cut Medicaid even while he was back in college).

Given that Trump campaigned on promises of better jobs, better and cheaper health care and a better social safety net, will it matter to Trump voters when he screws them over? Salena Zito, one of the countless oh-so-wise conservatives who tell us what poor whites really think, says that contingent (of course a lot of Trump supporters make quite a bit of money) is solidly behind him: they know industrial jobs, factory jobs, mining jobs are going away, but they don’t mind, “it’s tax and regulation reform that they all believe will truly help their community.” As noted at the link, it’s hard to believe the man on the street conveniently regurgitates Republican talking points. Heck one of the things the election brought out was how little the Republican base cares about that stuff compared to the better deal Trump promised them.

As Zito doesn’t quote anyone actually saying that, I suspect she’s er, interpreting flexibly. Still, it’s quite possible that even if Trump does bring down a world of economic misery, they’ll stay loyal. For some people (based on my experience in the Florida Panhandle) Republican is as much a part of who they are as being Baptist or Catholic (or whatever).  For others it’s the appeal of Trump’s America=White policies; one thing Zito’s interviewees are enthusiastic about is Trump’s hardline on Muslims and Hispanics coming in. But that doesn’t have the same salt-of-the-earth, Republicans-are-decent-people feel she’s trying to convey. And some people see a clear difference between Trump and Congressional Republicans, which might make it easier to keep worshipping him. Some people, like the 25 year old who doesn’t know it’s Obamacare lets him stay on his parents’ insurance, are just clueless. For a lot of conservative Republicans, it’s about abortion — as long as he’s against it, nothing else matters. A Forbes article says a lot of white people don’t notice all the ways government supports them — mortgage interest deduction, employers’ write-off for health insurance, etc. — or see it as something they’ve earned, unlike the black/poor voters who are moochers.

So maybe they’ll cling to Trump fiercely, whether from racism/sexism, cluelessness, rationalization or religion. Or maybe their faith in Trump will shatter once they feel the effects of Trumpcare and the budget. Unfortunately, it’ll be too late for them to get their insurance back (and as Digby notes at the link, too late for lots of people who didn’t vote for President Shit-Gibbon. Stay tuned.

But to end on a cheerful note, former NC governor Pat McCrory is weeping and wailing (and maybe gnashing his teeth) that it’s soooo hard to get a job now because his support of HB2 has set people against him. Why can’t we just get along? Like the Bible says, ex-governor, he shall make of your name a sign and a proverb.

 

 

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