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Gender: Female
Hometown: NY
Home country: US
Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 08:54 PM
Number of posts: 170,122

Journal Archives

The cruelty in the new Texas abortion ban has layers upon layers


The cruelty in the new Texas abortion ban has layers upon layers
Laura Clawson
Daily Kos Staff
Wednesday September 01, 2021 · 3:06 PM EDT

The Supreme Court didn’t just silently overturn Roe v. Wade by allowing a Texas law banning abortion at six weeks to go into effect. The Supreme Court, with its three Trump justices—two of them appointed through precedent-shattering Republican maneuvering—allowed Texas to put a bounty on the heads of anyone involved in any way in an abortion performed after six weeks gestation. (And never forget that six weeks is six weeks after the first day of a woman’s last period—meaning many women don’t yet know they’re pregnant at that time.)

In a must-read Twitter thread, legal analyst Jay Willis spells out the ways the new Texas law enables anti-choice vigilantes. That starts with the fact that anyone, whether or not they have ever met the woman obtaining medical care, can sue anyone who “aids and abets” an abortion. If the vigilante wins in court, they get $10,000 and their attorney’s fees. Someone who’s wrongly accused and proves it in court gets … to pay their own attorney’s fees. But it gets worse.
“SB8 also allows lawsuits against people who INTEND to perform abortion or ‘aid or abet’ abortion,” Willis writes. “This is an open invitation to anti-choice activists to file lawsuits against everyone they don't like and try to drown them in frivolous litigation.” And since the anti-abortion right has been funding networks of lawyers for years, they’re equipped for a lot of frivolous litigation. On top of all of the abusive ex-boyfriends and ex-husbands seeking to use the law to continue victimizing and controlling women who have left them.

Not only that, Willis explains, ”People can bring suits up to FOUR YEARS later. And if a court decision briefly protects the right to abortion and then gets overruled, defendants can't rely on that, EVEN IF the decision was good law at the time. Perpetual threat of devastating liability.” That’s not the only failsafe Republicans built into the law to make any victory over it fragile and temporary, either: “the law specifies that any court ruling that any part of SB8 is unconstitutional is temporary and can be overruled as soon as a friendlier court comes along. Utterly deranged, but also, what the conservative legal movement has been working for for decades.”

Banning abortion at six weeks is an extreme attack on women’s right to make decisions about their own bodies. But it wasn’t enough for Texas Republicans. They went ahead and hedged it around with financial penalties even for the falsely accused, and attached to it a license for personal cruelty.

This law is just one of a series of laws Texas Republicans have just passed to turn the state into a dystopian hellscape in which violence, ignorance, and vigilantes rule:

That Texas Republicans would do all this is horrifying but not surprising. The far bigger problem is that the Supreme Court let them.
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Sep 2, 2021, 06:50 AM (32 replies)

Inside a Florida Hospital Full of Dying, Unvaxxed Thirtysomethings


Inside a Florida Hospital Full of Dying, Unvaxxed Thirtysomethings
‘It’s a Nightmare’
“I’ve never bagged so many thirtysomething-year-olds, leaving behind young kids, pregnant wives,” one nurse said.

Francisco Alvarado
Updated Sep. 02, 2021 5:34AM ET / Published Sep. 02, 2021 4:43AM ET

MIAMI—After ending a 12-hour shift on Sunday, an intensive-care unit nurse at Baptist Hospital was ready to put August behind her.

The nurse, who spoke on condition of anonymity because she did not have permission from the hospital to speak to reporters, said the past month was the worst of the pandemic so far—echoing the horrific hard numbers in the state.

“It’s horrible,” the nurse told The Daily Beast. “I’ve never bagged so many thirtysomething-year-olds, leaving behind young kids, pregnant wives.”

“The screams when we tell them their loved ones didn’t make it,” the nurse added. “We’re exhausted.”

Across much of America, frontline hospital workers are going through similar stress and fatigue as they grapple with a devastating coronavirus surge primarily fueled by the Delta variant and vaccine hesitancy. But in Florida, experts and medical workers say, a uniquely stubborn and denialist Gov. Ron DeSantis has helped transform hot vaxx summer into a summer from hell.

With skyrocketing numbers of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths this summer, any optimism that the Sunshine State was rounding the corner on the pandemic has been laid to waste. And September may not offer any respite.


Posted by babylonsister | Thu Sep 2, 2021, 05:26 AM (19 replies)

"We wanted to help people..."


“We wanted to help people
We were smart and driven
We loved science and physiology, humans and disease
So we made a commitment
We signed up
It was an honor
We read thousands of pages
Attended hundreds of lectures
Pulled all-nighters
Took more exams than we thought possible
Finals week felt insurmountable
But it didn’t break us
It made us stronger
We learned statistics and biochemistry
Immunology and pathophysiology
We mastered genetics, virology and pharmacology
We read scientific papers and learned how to dissect them
Papers, not videos
It was an honor
We came running when you needed us
Literally, running down the hallway
To the ICU, the trauma bay, labor and delivery
I need help, you said
We can help, we said
It was an honor
There were moments that we thought would break us
Moments that drove us to journaling, to therapy, to nightmares
Broken babies.
Paralyzed children.
Dead pregnant mothers with three kids at home.
The wail of a mother whose son just died.
We bent but we did not break
We returned because you needed us
And we could help
It was an honor
Then there was fear
Fear of walking into our place of work
Fear that we’d be killed by going to work
Fear that we’d kill a loved one because of our work
There were tears and sleepless nights and anti-anxiety medications
But you banged your pots and pans
You sent us pizzas and called us heroes
You needed us
We could help
So we wore our masks, and our gowns, and our gloves, and our goggles
We decontaminated ourselves before going home and isolated ourselves from our families
We almost broke
It was an honor
How quickly the joy turned to defeat
Elation to rage
You’ve learned to do your own research now
You know better than we do
Gaslighting is your language
Your selfishness is astounding
You don’t want our help when we ask you to stay healthy
Yet you arrive at our doors begging for help at the end
You stole our resources
You hobbled our ability to help those who did what they were supposed to do
You killed our patients by filling our beds and using up our ventilators
We can’t help any more
You broke us
There is no more honor”

- Anonymous
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Sep 2, 2021, 04:41 AM (29 replies)

Eric Boehlert: Why Politico's about to get worse

Why Politico's about to get worse
New conservative owners
Eric Boehlert
8 hr ago

Is Politico jumping out the frying pan and into the fire?

The influential bible for savvy-obsessed Beltway insiders, Politico already has a strong tendency to disappoint by viewing the world through a Republican prism. Eagerly propping up Dems in Disarray storylines, Politico remains committed to portraying Republicans as being forever shrewd, and stands at the ready to amplify whatever phony outrage the GOP is pushing.


Politico’s hallmark, clickbait failures are likely to become more pronounced because the publication was just sold for $1 billion to an openly conservative media giant based in Germany, Axel Springer. Named after the company’s founder who has been referred to as Germany’s Rupert Murdoch, all Springer employees must pledge their allegiance to the company’s “Essentials”:

1. We stand up for freedom, the rule of law, democracy and a united Europe.

2. We support the Jewish people and the right of existence of the State of Israel.

3. We advocate the transatlantic alliance between the United States of America and Europe.

4. We uphold the principles of a free market economy and its social responsibility.

5. We reject political and religious extremism and all forms of racism and sexual discrimination.

Politico employees will not have to sign the pledge, according to the New York Times. Still, they will understand what the clear political leanings of their German owners are and that they demand fealty, which could lead American journalists to pander to their bosses. (News reporters signing any kind of worldview “pledge” is a bad idea.)

In a strange, collective oversight though, virtually none of the mainstream media coverage about the blockbuster, $1 billion deal has mentioned the proud conservative preferences of Politico’s new owner. That salient fact regarding the purchase of a powerful political media outlet in Washington, D.C., has been conveniently ignored. Reuters, CNN, CNBC, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal all covered the Politico sale without mentioning the buyer’s politics.


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Sep 1, 2021, 02:09 PM (10 replies)

Children's Hospitals Are Pleading For Federal Help As They Run Out Of Beds

Children's Hospitals Are Pleading For Federal Help As They Run Out Of Beds
September 1, 202110:17 AM ET
Joe Hernandez

A group of more than 220 children's hospitals is imploring the Biden administration for help, as a surge of young COVID-19 patients puts an "unprecedented strain" on their facilities and staff across the country.

Pediatric hospitals are "at or near capacity" and they expect to see more child patients as the school year resumes, according to the Children's Hospital Association.

"[T]here may not be sufficient bed capacity or expert staff to care for children and families in need," wrote association CEO Mark Wietecha in a letter to President Biden on Aug. 26.

"Our children's health care safety net is under unprecedented strain," Wietecha said in a news release. "Children's hospitals and their dedicated staffs are doing their part, and we hope every American, the White House and Congress can help."


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Sep 1, 2021, 11:47 AM (3 replies)

The Rude Pundit: Afghanistan Done (Part 2 of A Country on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown)


The Rude Pundit
Proudly lowering the level of political discourse
Afghanistan Done (Part 2 of A Country on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown)


The problem, of course, is that the withdrawal wasn't a catastrophe. It simply wasn't. Yes, there were tragedies large and small, but the airlift of 120,000 people, mostly Afghans, was something of a miracle. It exceeded even the most optimistic predictions about the evacuation, and it made all the naysayers seem like damn fools.

According to so many who understand Afghanistan far more than I do, the end of the war was what it was always going to be: the second the U.S. started withdrawing in earnest, shit was going to go nuts. There was no subtle way to do it. Chaos was going to happen. How could it not? The entire 20-year boondoggle had been a waste of time, lives, and cash, a payoff to military contractors and another woeful experiment in attempting to cram the round peg of democracy into the square hole of another nation and pretend that the stench of colonialism wasn't behind it. There was no way that it all wasn't going to collapse. Nation-building is a Jenga game on a wobbly table on the best days.

Instead of understanding this, what we have gotten, from the right, center, and moderate left, is an outcry, about the withdrawal as a betrayal of American values, about how Biden isn't fit to be president, about how we have some kind of obligation to stay forever in a country that, truly, doesn't mean dick to us. Yes, what's going to happen to women there is awful. But what's happening to women in a fuckton of places is awful. You wanna bomb Saudi Arabia? What makes Afghanistan so fucking special? Because a guy we wanted dead hid there 20 years ago? Foreign policy is about shitty choices. But too many in Congress and in the media are invested in making this whole withdrawal effort seem wrong for reasons that they can barely describe beyond the idea that we should just keep doing what we've been doing. It's ludicrous.

And, as Biden put it forcefully today, the rational choice right now is to get the fuck out of Afghanistan. He's right that it's idiotic to keep putting money and lives into an effort just because we can. Goddamn, we haven't fought a war worth fighting in my entire life, and in the post-Vietnam era, the idea that it took 20 years to come to the same conclusion as we did in Vietnam is depressing beyond words. In many ways, Biden's speech was pro-military and pro-veteran. He was saying that he's not going to send them into places for bullshit reasons. And give the man points for consistency. He's been wanting to be out of Afghanistan for at least a dozen years now.

One other thing that Biden is doing is saying that the U.S. will abide by its agreements, unlike Donald Trump who shitcanned the Iraq nuclear weapons deal and the Paris Climate Accord. With a strengthened Taliban in the wake of Trump's deal with them (helped by 5000 Taliban prisoners released as part of the agreement), the options were to abide by the deal and leave or to go full-on aggressive war, with all the civilian casualties and misery that would cause, as well as the increased US casualties and exploding cost. At least that latter path is foreclosed. Hopefully for good. It's over. It's really goddamn over.

But, hey take comfort, war-humpers. We're probably still gonna drone missile the fuck out of people living in stone huts in some godforsaken rural area of Afghanistan because freedom. My dad would advocate nuking them, but, as I said, he was a bit of a one-strategy guy.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Sep 1, 2021, 06:42 AM (3 replies)

Oklahoma Rep. Threatened U.S. Ambassador Who Rejected His Kabul Quest: Report


Oklahoma Rep. Threatened U.S. Ambassador Who Rejected His Kabul Quest: Report
Blake Montgomery
Published Aug. 31, 2021 8:50PM ET

An Oklahoma congressman asked the U.S. ambassador to Tajikistan to help him move large amounts of money into the country for an Afghanistan rescue effort last week and made threats when he was rebuffed, The Washington Post reports. The State Department had issued strong warnings not to cross into Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover. But Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) said he was planning to hire a helicopter to evacuate five American citizens, a mother and her four children, and sought the ambassador’s help, according to the Post.

The ambassador, John Pommersheim, turned Mullin down, however, noting that such a transfer of money would be illegal. Mullin was reportedly enraged and threatened Pommersheim and his staff. The congressman is said to have already made a trip to Greece and requested State Department permission to go on to Kabul from there, which was also denied. Mullin’s current whereabouts are unknown to the State Department. One agency official told the Post, “To say this is extremely dangerous is a massive understatement.” Reps. Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Peter Meijer (R-MI) traveled to Kabul on an unauthorized trip last week amid the massive evacuation effort.
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Aug 31, 2021, 08:44 PM (3 replies)
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