Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


babylonsister's Journal
babylonsister's Journal
October 1, 2021

Texas Says Forcing Women to Go Out of State for Abortions Is Stimulating Commerce


Levin Report
Texas Says Forcing Women to Go Out of State for Abortions Is Stimulating Commerce
According to Texas attorney general, the barbaric abortion law has been great for trade.
By Bess Levin
September 30, 2021

As states around the country roll back abortion rights, we’re hearing a lot of arguments explaining why forcing a person to carry a pregnancy against their will is actually a positive thing. In Mississippi, the attorney general claimed last week that overturning Roe v. Wade will “empower” women. In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott insisted that the state’s no-exceptions abortion law will not require rape victims to give birth to their attacker’s child because he’s going to “eliminate” all rapists, an argument reminiscent of the one made by a Missouri congressman in 2012, in which he declared, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” All of them are ridiculous, all of them are insulting, and all of them engender the very specific response of, “What the f--k is wrong with you?” And speaking of which!

On Wednesday, Texas defended its Heartbeat Act by arguing—wait for it—that forcing pregnant people to travel hundreds of miles out of state to obtain a medical procedure that it has effectively banned is a good thing because it is “stimulating” interstate commerce. In a court filing, Attorney General Ken Paxton—the one who sued other states last year to overturn the 2020 election—said that contrary to the Justice Department’s claim that the federal government has the authority to block the law over interstate-commerce concerns, he’s seen news reports of women driving to Oklahoma and Kansas to seek abortions. Which, like a sociopath, he paints as a positive development. The DOJ doesn’t “cite any actual evidence that the Texas Heartbeat Act burdens interstate commerce,” Paxton said in the filing in federal court in Austin. “What evidence that does exist in the record suggests that, if anything, the Act is stimulating rather than obstructing interstate travel.” In other words, according to this guy, Oklahoma and Kansas and whatever other states people are fleeing to to end their pregnancies because they can’t do so locally owe Texas a debt of gratitude.

Not surprisingly, Paxton’s line of reasoning didn’t go over well with opponents of the law, which bans abortions at six weeks, a time before most people know they’re pregnant. “As thousands of pregnant Texans seeking essential, time-sensitive medical care are forced to flee the state in desperation, Texas is now claiming its blatantly unconstitutional abortion ban has ‘stimulated’ interstate travel,” ACLU staff attorney Julia Kaye said in a statement. “It is appalling that Texas is trying to capitalize on the catastrophe anti-abortion politicians created.”

Since Texas enacted the strictest abortion law in the U.S. this month, abortion providers are struggling to survive, with patients obtaining abortion pills through the mail, in addition to driving out of state. In court documents, an Oklahoma-based Planned Parenthood doctor drove one woman six hours alone, one way, because she was worried any companion could be sued under the absurd law that allows private citizens who “aid and abet” the procedure to be sued. According to Reuters, KT Volkova, a graduate student in central Texas was forced to take an abortion-inducing medication sent to them via mail after finding out they were nearly six weeks pregnant. “I would have preferred to have it in-clinic, with staff holding my hand, but I had to go through the entire process in my apartment alone,” Volkova said.

During a House Oversight Committee hearing on abortion on Thursday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez castigated an anti-abortion Texas ob-gyn who claimed that women who have been raped have tons of time to obtain an abortion under SB8. “Six weeks pregnant is two weeks late for one’s period,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “When you are raped, you don’t always know what happened to you. And I speak about this as a survivor. You are in so much shock.” The doctor, Ingrid Skop, insisted that “In the case of a rape, women generally know that they’ve been raped,” she said. Ocasio-Cortez responded that it was “unbelievable” that the Republican lawmakers on the committee would call a witness who would be so “irresponsible and hurtful to survivors across this country,” though, really, it’s actually entirely believable.
October 1, 2021

Trump Extremists Brought Numerous Guns on January 6, Evidence Shows

Trump Extremists Brought Numerous Guns on January 6, Evidence Shows
Rioters at the Capitol carried concealed pistols, allegedly stockpiled weapons nearby, and called for overthrowing the US government.
Mark Follman, Dan Friedman, Ryan Little, and Sam Van Pykeren16 hours ago


This attempted political cover-up has hinged on another specific claim: that no one who stormed the Capitol brought guns.

“This didn’t seem like an armed insurrection to me,” Johnson said five weeks after the attack, adding, “When you think of armed, don’t you think of firearms?” During the May hearings, Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona claimed “zero firearms” were found among suspects charged with breaching the Capitol. “There were no guns whatsoever,” former President Trump declared repeatedly during a Fox News interview in July.

Evidence of numerous firearms among January 6 perpetrators shows those claims to be false. A Mother Jones investigation drawing on public video footage, congressional testimony, and documents from more than a dozen federal criminal cases reveals that various Trump supporters descended on DC that day armed for battle with guns and other potentially lethal weapons. At least three people arrested in connection with the insurrection are facing charges for carrying firearms on Capitol grounds. At least eight others carried knives or tasers at the Capitol, including two defendants who allegedly committed assaults with tasers, according to FBI and court documents. Multiple others arrested downtown and in the vicinity of the Capitol had rifles, pistols, explosive materials, and large supplies of ammunition. And communications among numerous January 6 suspects detailed in court documents indicate that many of their fellow insurrectionists were armed with guns.

Evidence disclosed in court filings suggests that some defendants may have decided against bringing guns to the Capitol due to strict DC gun laws. But many other participants that day apparently were undeterred.

“Over the radio I heard our gun recovery unit working constantly,” testified DC Metropolitan police officer Daniel Hodges during late July hearings held by the House Select Committee investigating January 6. “Multiple gun arrests were made from January 5th through the 7th against those attending, likely had attended, or planned to attend Donald Trump’s gathering.” (A spokesperson for the DC police declined to specify the total number of firearms arrests stemming from January 6, but it appears to be at least six.) In his testimony, Hodges also described fearing that law enforcement would have been perilously outnumbered had they acted more aggressively against suspected armed extremists. “Unfortunately, due to the course of events that day we will never know exactly how many were carrying firearms and other lethal weapons.”


October 1, 2021

Secret State Department Report Suggests Likely Cause of Havana Syndrome


Secret State Department Report Suggests Likely Cause of Havana Syndrome
Blake Montgomery
Updated Sep. 30, 2021 6:55PM ET /
Published Sep. 30, 2021 5:48PM ET

A secret report from the State Department concluded that the likely cause of the mysterious Havana Syndrome is not nefarious microwaves, as officials have publicly hypothesized, BuzzFeed News reports. The source of the unexplained cocktail of neurological symptoms may be something you might hear on any given evening: crickets. A scientific advisory board, the JASON group, authored the report for the bureau in 2018, two years after the first reported incident of Havana Syndrome. The report reads, “No plausible single source of energy (neither radio/microwaves nor sonic) can produce both the recorded audio/video signals and the reported medical effects. We believe the recorded sounds are mechanical or biological in origin, rather than electronic. The most likely source is the Indies short-tailed cricket.”

Biologists have made the cricket hypothesis in prior studies. Government personnel ranging from State Department diplomats to CIA intelligence officers—roughly 200 in all—have suffered from the symptoms of Havana Syndrome, which include dizziness, headaches, and vertigo, since it was first reported at the U.S. embassy in Cuba in 2016.
October 1, 2021

The Rude Pundit: Kyrsten Sinema Is Getting Off on This


The Rude Pundit
Proudly lowering the level of political discourse
Kyrsten Sinema Is Getting Off on This


Which brings us, in a not-so-roundabout way, to Senator Kyrsten Sinema, ostensible Democrat from Arizona, who has never given a single fucking reason for why she's refusing to vote for the Democrats' budget reconciliation bill, other than "I don't like the cost" and not offering a goddamned alternative. The outline of the bill contains a transformative amount of spending on social programs, finally undoing some of the damage that Republicans have done since Reagan gutted the government's role in making people's lives better back in 1981.

And it's also gonna do some good in slowing down the out-of-control train that is climate change. Shit, Arizona faces becoming an unlivable wasteland within 30 years if things don't turn around really fuckin' quickly. Being from, you know, Arizona, you'd think that Sinema might give a fuck about her state turning into a dried up hellhole. But Sinema is too busy sucking down wine (no, really) while gobbling truckloads of corporate donor cash. Those fuckin' quirky-ass outfits aren't gonna buy themselves. Meanwhile, she's met four times with President Biden at the White House and issued a simpering, self-serving statement that essentially says nothing, moving the needle on the bill not a fucking inch.

While pundits and politicos try to figure out what the fuck her game is and what she wants, I can tell you. It's simple. And if you've read to this point, you know what it is: She's totally getting off on this. On the attention. On the rage other Democrats are feeling. On the power. On the way in which she's fucking with the lives of millions of people. Hell, she's probably loving that the people voted for her are ready to support a primary challenger. She's long had a perverse, ego-driven streak of doing shit just to piss everyone off.

You can just picture it: Sinema in a bright kimono on her silk covered bed after a warm bath, using her hand to caress her sopping self to a giant photo of John and Cindy McCain she has glued to the ceiling above her, intoning, "I'm a maverick, too, I'm a maverick, too," over and over, louder and louder, MSNBC on in the background as she hears Rep. Katie Porter tell Lawrence O'Donnell how wrong she is for being an obstructionist. Jesus, fuck, all she needs now is to flip over to Fox "news" and hear them praise her for not backing down and laugh at Democratic in-fighting and she'll have a screaming orgasm. Fuck, finish already.

Maybe then she'll be ready to fucking negotiate like the goddamn politician she's supposed to be. If not, take away the one thing she wants: the much-reduced bipartisan infrastructure bill she so proudly humped to life in an orgy with other bullshitters. Deny her the climax she desires.
October 1, 2021

Of Course Jared and Ivanka Think They're the Duke and Duchess of South Florida


Levin Report
Of Course Jared and Ivanka Think They’re the Duke and Duchess of South Florida
Unfortunately for the couple, actually royalty thinks otherwise.
By Bess Levin
September 29, 2021

One of the most irksome features of the Trump administration, besides the racism and the mass casualties from COVID-19 and the insurrection was the elevation of Donald Trump’s daughter and son-in-law to senior positions in the White House, despite them literally having no business being there. Entirely lacking in any self-awareness whatsoever, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner clearly didn’t see things that way, and thus thought it totally reasonable for them to advise the leader of the free world without having any relevant experience between them. (No, the Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry line doesn‘t count.) That’s how Kushner horrifyingly became one of the key players in the government’s coronavirus response, and how Ivanka was able to sit alongside so many world leaders as though they were equals that this fine outlet was able to get a whole slideshow out of it.

While the former first daughter reportedly, and disturbingly, believes she could be the first female president, it’s quite clear that this duo views themselves not as former aides to the president of the United States with designs on higher office, but as something significantly more regal than that, having spent years cosplaying Prince and Princess of the Contiguous United States. Except, obviously, they’re not, as an anecdote from a new book by Stephanie Grisham, former White House press secretary and former chief of staff to the first lady, neatly demonstrates. Per The Washington Post:

[Grisham] is particularly negative about the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and her husband, Jared Kushner—both of whom held senior White House positions. She wrote that the first lady and White House staff called Ivanka “the Princess” who regularly invoked “my father” in work meetings, and Grisham dubbed Kushner “the Slim Reaper” for his habit of inserting himself into other people’s projects, making a mess and leaving them to take the blame.

Tellingly, Grisham writes that Ivanka and Jared tried to push their way into meeting Queen Elizabeth II alongside the president and first lady, a wild breach of protocol on a state visit, but were thwarted when they couldn’t fit into the helicopter. “I finally figured out what was going on,” Grisham writes. “Jared and Ivanka thought they were the royal family of the United States.”

After four years of watching the poster children for nepotism actively damage the country with their own incompetence, it’s nice to hear they were on the receiving end of a diplomatic “you’re not on the list.” In fact, it’s almost as gratifying as world leaders visibly asking themselves, “Who is this and how did she get in here?“
October 1, 2021

Manchin: One Mean Megalomaniac


The American Prospect
Manchin: One Mean Megalomaniac
by Harold Meyerson
September 30, 2021


Where to begin? How about his modest proposal to means-test all new programs and put spending caps on all existing programs? I presume that means means-testing the vision, hearing, and dental care that the government would cover under the proposed Medicare expansion, and putting spending caps, probably through means testing, on Medicare itself, not to mention Social Security. I presume that means means-testing eligibility for pre-K and putting spending caps on federal aid to education—though once we’re means-testing pre-K, it’s hard to see why governments at all levels don’t means-test K itself, not to mention K-12. By all means, let’s have government focus exclusively on some of the poor, in a modest way that doesn’t exceed properly modest spending caps, and let the rest of the public rely on the private sector for education and health coverage, which the private sector has done such a grand job of providing for all.

Even without his demand that the reconciliation bill, if enacted in some form, not take effect until all COVID funds are spent, establishing means-tested programs takes far longer than establishing universal programs. And even once they’re established, they often take years before most of those entitled to their benefits become aware of their eligibility and go through the invariably complicated process to qualify. Even then, these programs never reach all, or often most, of those who are eligible.

In short, Manchin wants to diminish not just the quantity of necessary social investments, but their quality as well.

To be sure, Manchin hasn’t said he won’t support a higher dollar figure than the $1.5 trillion he’s proposing, and Biden and Chuck Schumer clearly regard his proposal as the starting point for their negotiations with him. That said, Manchin’s manifesto clearly cements his hard-won reputation as a megalomaniacal Ebenezer Scrooge.

As for the Silent Sinema, I suspect we’ll hear from her only when her corporate donors tell her what to say.
September 30, 2021

Jen Psaki Goes Off After NYT Suggests Biden Is Like Trump


Posted on Thu, Sep 30th, 2021 by Jason Easley
Jen Psaki Goes Off After NYT Suggests Biden Is Like Trump

A New York Times reporter tried to push the claim that Biden is pulling from Trump’s playbook and Jen Psaki unloaded.

Psaki was asked, “There has been a number of issues in the last say several weeks in which allies of the president are describing him as trump like. Less in terms of his personality but in terms of policy. Even today representing the Cuban government describing the frustration with the president continuing to maintain Trump era policies mainly Cuba. What is the president’s reaction? Does he accept in some areas of policy he is, in agreement with the former president?”

The White House Press Secretary was not having it:

So, look. I could take each one of these on Afghanistan. The former president struck a deal without the Afghan government that we heard the military convey yesterday leading to the demoralization of the Afghan security forces and the Afghan government. We also released 5000 Taliban fighters into Afghanistan. I would say the president took a pretty different approach and that ending the war the former president did not end the American people strongly supports.

As it relates to August I’m not sure what that is what they are referring to, they are comparing the present working to partners? Australia, the United Kingdom to come to an agreement that would help provide security in an important part of the world. In the indo-pacific. A priority for getting out of the war in Afghanistan leaves space for us to spend more time addressing. What was the last one? Immigration?


Title 42 is a public health, is a public health requirement. A, because we are in the middle of a pandemic, by the way, we would have made progress on had the former president actually address the pandemic and not suggested people inject bleach. I think we are in a different place. I am happy to discuss more examples. I think people would be hard-pressed to argue the president has taken any aspect of the former president’s playbook and use it as a model of his own.

Corporate Media Is Desperate For Trump To Come Back

Trump elevated corporate media like The Washington Post and New York Times by constantly attacking them Both newspapers have seen double-digit drops in traffic without Trump around to constantly boost their profits by using them as a foil.

The Times has been pushing the nonsense that Biden is like Trump for weeks.

Jen Psaki shot it down with the moment that Trump will always be remembered for. Trump told Americans to inject bleach. Trump sowed the seeds of the ongoing pandemic with his lies and disinformation, and Trump is the reason why the nation is still struggling.

Joe Biden is not anything like Donald Trump.

September 30, 2021

Anti-Ron DeSantis Group Releases A Killer Ad



9/30/21 5:47am
Anti-Ron DeSantis Group Releases A Killer Ad
The group is called Remove Ron, and the ad is called Florever Purge.
By Susie Madrak

The Remove Ron PAC's “Florever Purge” spoofs the Forever Purge horror movie, with a particular focus on the Florida governor's anti-science policies on face masks and vaccines. Via Florida Politics:

The video runs two minutes and begins on a commercial flight, with a flight attendant informing masked passengers that “we are now entering Florida airspace” in the intro.

“Now that we’re making our final descent … please watch this short message from Gov. Ron DeSantis on COVID-19 … and thereafter, everyone on board will be required to comply with the state’s Florever Purge.

“[...] As Gov. DeSantis stated, in accordance with the Florever purge … while you are within state lines … you do not have to wear a mask. You do not have to get a vaccine. It is against the law for private businesses or schools to mandate masks or vaccines … and you have the absolute right … to infect whoever you want.”

The narrative then moves to local news narration documenting rises in cases and deaths over the summer, interspersed with reviews on the screen from fake newspapers with phrases like “Terrifyingly Evil!” and “Killer Ending.”
September 30, 2021

The U.S. Owes Its Existence to a Vaccine Mandate


The U.S. Owes Its Existence to a Vaccine Mandate
September 30, 2021 at 8:56 am EDT By Taegan Goddard

David Leonhardt: “In 1777, smallpox was a big enough problem for the bedraggled American army that George Washington thought it could jeopardize the Revolution. An outbreak had already led to one American defeat, at the Battle of Quebec. To prevent more, Washington ordered immunizations — done quietly, so the British would not hear how many Americans were sick — for all troops who had not yet had the virus.”

“It worked. The number of smallpox cases plummeted, and Washington’s army survived a war of attrition against the world’s most powerful country.
The immunization mandate, as Ron Chernow wrote in his 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Washington, ‘was as important as any military measure Washington adopted during the war.'”
September 30, 2021

Leaked Membership List Shows Top Republicans in Shadowy Group With Extremists


Leaked Membership List Shows Top Republicans in Shadowy Group With Extremists
Jamie Ross
News Correspondent
Published Sep. 30, 2021 9:03AM ET

The membership list of one of the most secretive right-wing groups in America has reportedly been leaked, and it shows a mix of mainstream Republicans and Trumpworld figures alongside fringe extremists. The influential Council for National Policy has been meeting three times a year for the past four decades, but its members are believed to be forbidden from discussing its activities or even acknowledging its existence. The Guardian reports that a leaked membership list from last September shows senior Republicans such as Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA,) ex-RNC Chair and Trump White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, and former Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. It also contains dozens of extremists from organizations listed as hate groups, including Tim Wildmon, the president of the anti-LGBT rights group the American Family Association, and the anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney. None of the members contacted by The Guardian responded to questions.

Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: NY
Home country: US
Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
Number of posts: 171,049
Latest Discussions»babylonsister's Journal