9/22/2021

Democrats Should Be Having a Five-Alarm Freak Out Over Voting Rights

Yeah, there's a whole lot of shit that needs to get done, but right now Democrats should be freaking the fuck out over voting rights. They should be losing their fucking minds and screaming nonstop on every outlet they can find. Get your gravest, most serious senators, like Leahy or Bennett or Shaheen, and have them shitting themselves at Jake Tapper's scowl or George Stephanopoulos's hair. Because if we don't have a freak out now, then any freak out later will be useless.

Others have played this out, projecting what will likely happen if Congress doesn't pass some version of a bill that secures voting rights. The bullshit voter suppression laws in bullshit places like Texas and Georgia, combined with extreme gerrymandering in every state where Republicans can do it (yeah, Democrats can do it, too, but it won't be enough to counter the GOP), will allow the GOP to at least take the House, if not the Senate, too, in 2022. Then, filled with Trumptastic belligerence and fascistic glee, they would refuse to certify any presidential election that doesn't go their way, and, voila, we very quickly become Jesusstan or Christsylvania or Trumped Trumps of Trumperica.

And that all sounds shitty enough. But here's the thing: once this path starts, there is almost nothing that can be done to stop it once the democracy dominos have begun to teeter over because if Republicans win the House, that's it. The laws simply won't be changed and the total Republican hold on the federal government, with a minority of voters, will be in play. In fact, by that point, a Republican Party that is based on believing elections are only legitimate if they win will go further to dismantle voting protections because it has to make its belief into unimpeachable reality. Of course, this will happen even more at the state and local level, too, because if you're gonna fuck constitutional rights, you might as well fuck 'em into the ground.

Why freak the fuck out now? Well, we should have been freaking the fuck out for a long while now, but  we're seeing a general escalation of anti-voting rights rhetoric and actions, from the racist and completely fucking idiotic assertion that Democrats want to let refugees and asylum seekers into the country so they can be made instant citizens and vote Democratic (which implies that Republicans have nothing to offer immigrants, which, well, if the white hood fits...) to the fact that over 75% of the GOP believe that President Biden was not legitimately elected. The fake allegations of voter fraud and the deeply-held belief that Democrats are not really legit, true-blue Americans are held as gospel with the idiot hordes of the right and, even though most elected Republicans know this is utter twaddle, they are going to use it to solidify power through the exclusion of anyone who might challenge that power.

Even more directly alarming is the fact that Trump's goddamned lawyer, John Eastman, had laid out a six-part plan for how then-Vice President Mike Pence could shitcan some Electoral College votes and allow the House to vote Trump back into the presidency. You can look at that and say, "Well, that's ridiculous. Too many Republicans in Congress would have protested," and I'd respond, "Where the fuck have you been living for the last 40 years?" and then some of you would say, "I'm only 20, old man" and I'd say, "Fuck you. Then get me the good Molly" before explaining how this has all been part of a GOP project to disenfranchise Americans since Reagan shat the White House bed. And, as Eastman wrote, fuck permission. Let those who don't like installing King Trump's lumpy ass into the presidential throne try their luck in court. Fortunately, multiple people advised Pence to not go down that destructive path, even though Pence was trying to have someone he trusted give him the high sign to do it. The crisis was averted because Pence decided to listen to the angel lovingly caressing his right ear, not the devil savagely humping his left one. That's it. That's how close it all came to coming apart.

You want to hear that in scary scholar-speak? Trump "pursued a political and legal strategy aimed not just at sowing doubt but at subverting the outcome of the presidential election. This strategy, which has no precedent at any point in American history, had many parts, but the best evidence now available showed that this was less about saving face and more about reversing election outcomes," writes Richard L. Hasen, Co-Director of Fair Elections and Free Speech Center at the UC-Irvine School of Law. That "no precedent" part is the giant "Freak the fuck out already!" sign.

That's not only how fucked things were or are. On top of that, now we know that Trump's campaign knew that allegations about hacked or fucked-with voting machines were hot garbage being sold out of the back Sidney Powell's limo, but they did almost nothing to stop her from embarrassing herself, Rudy Giuliani, and humanity in general because it kept the rubes all het up. On top of that, just last week, Trump sent a letter to Georgia's Secretary of State asking him and Governor Brian Kemp to overturn the election results there in hopes of overturning the whole thing now, nearly a year later. These aren't red flags. They're motherfucking bright lights, bells, and sirens with packs of howler monkeys on top screaming into the void to fucking do something.

I can't help, think, though: How much shit don't we know? That's the part that keeps me the fuck up. God, can you imagine the phone calls where Stephen Miller screeched his demands at Arizona officials? Or Pennsylvania? I want to know how close we came to the coup before the coup attempt on January 6.

So, yeah, we've gotta get the stupid debt ceiling raised. We gotta pass the Build Back Better Act. And the infrastructure thing. We gotta do all that shit. But none of it will mean a goddamn thing if voting rights are left out in the rain like a rag doll forgotten by a distracted child. That's why the freak out has to happen. Anything else passed now would easily be undone by a Republican majority that will fucking laugh as they tear the filibuster out of the Senate rules on their first day back in charge. These fuckers don't care. They don't give a shit if it all burns down.

And Democrats can either be the firefighters or they can just be the gawkers on the sidewalk, wondering why no one tried to put out the inferno while holding the hose behind their backs.

(Sure, yeah, what about Manchin?  Jesus, threaten to investigate his daughter.  And Sinema? Buy her a winery or something. Whatever you can do to move things.)

9/17/2021

Missing the Real Story: Like Many Others, Milley Said Trump Is Nuts

I get the uproar over Bob Woodward's latest luridly compelling book on the administration of Donald Trump. Woodward is like a filthy tabloid version of Robert Caro, and he always squeezes every anecdote for maximum salaciousness. So in his telling, Gen. Mike Milley, Trump's (and now Biden's) Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, was so alarmed at Trump's behavior before the election and after the January 6 riot that he felt compelled to call his counterpart in China and say, more or less, "Don't listen to this president. We're not going to attack you."

What you're hearing mostly about Milley's two phone calls is that he was "treasonous," that he should be "court martialed," and that he should face "immediate dismissal" for undermining civilian leadership of the military. On the other side, Milley himself has defended what he did as proper and that it was "within the duties and responsibilities" of his position to tell other countries that the United States is not going to war with them. He's backed by other generals and President Biden. Chances are that this is really a big nothing sandwich that Woodward oversold and overhyped, as is his way

And that's a whole interesting discussion we can and should have, but it really misses the whole fucking forest for a few shitty trees. Because, see, what's truly important about what Milley, along with then-CIA director Gina Haspel, said is to confirm that the United States was run by a dangerous and unstable fucknut whose naturally worst instincts were held in check by a few public servants who saw that Trump had the potential to fuck things up in an even more deadly and destructive way than he already had.

In other words, the person who is seen as the head of the Republican Party, who would win the presidential nomination in a walk, who is worshiped by millions of Americans, who has politicians bowing and scraping for his favor, yeah, that fuckin' guy is legit a goddamn maniac.

That's the story. That's what we should be talking about. Yeah, fine, we can get around to the debate over whether Milley overstepped his authoritah or whatever. But I'd like to put that on the back burner until we're done reckoning with and doing something about the murderous lunatic who's in charge of one of our two parties. See, when someone is trying to burn down my house, I'm not gonna worry if the pizza delivery guy overcharged me, especially if the pizza delivery guy stopped the arsonist. In that case, I'd probably just tell him, "We'll call this one a wash."

You can just toss Milley and Haspel, who called Trump's post-2020 election behavior "insanity" and said that he was "acting out like a six-year-old with a tantrum," onto the pile of former Trump officials in some of the most important jobs in government who have been quoted or have publicly stated that the ex-president is a mothefucking loon. You've got former national security adviser John Bolton, a loon himself, saying that Trump is "irrational" and a conspiracy-monger. You've got former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson saying that Trump acts impulsively and, perhaps, calling him a "fucking moron." You've got former Secretary of Defense James Mattis, former Chief of Staff John Kelly, and former Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer, among others, saying that Trump is, at best, an incompetent boob and, at worst, a danger to the existence of the country. We may never know how many times Trump took us to the brink of national calamity, only for someone to intervene and get him to back off. We know how his insane insistence on bullshit and lies prolonged the pandemic and got hundreds of thousands killed. Goddamn, what else could he have done?

We should have been talking about that every day. Nancy Pelosi told Milley, "He's crazy. You know he's crazy. He's been crazy for a long time." Sorry, but that's way more important than whose toes Milley might have stepped on. And if Trump announces that he's running in 2024, then we're gonna need to make the fact that he's out of his tiny mind front and center in any discussion of him. It's the only story. We can't be too polite about talking about the mental health of someone whose mental health affects every person on the fucking planet. And we sure as hell can't be distracted by something that isn't about life and death.

9/15/2021

Republicans Can Suck Swollen Democratic Balls in California

Here's a conundrum that's hard to explain: 

Impeachment is a perfectly legal, constitutional way to attempt to remove a president from office. I mean, it's right there in the actual, you know, Constitution. And there are no real limits on why you can start impeachment proceedings other than "this feels like a high crime or misdemeanor." But Donald Trump and Republicans lost their fucking minds and starting screaming that the first impeachment of the orange spit globule of rage was "illegitimate" and an attempt to "overturn" the 2016 election. 

Of course, that was all total bullshit and propaganda, meant to keep the yahoos all fired up and ready to rampage. In fact, as long as the House of Representatives is running it and abiding by the Constitution, no impeachment can be illegitimate, no matter how much you don't like it. And as for overturning? Motherfuckers, we would have gotten Mike Pence as president, same as if Trump died or quit when he realized he couldn't just pardon himself for money-laundering and rape.

Because of the stupidity of California's laws, the recall process there is also completely legitimate. It's fucked up and weird and anti-democratic in many, many ways. But it is the actual law of the state, so you gotta surf the waves you got. What that fucked up process does is if the target of the recall, say, the governor, is actually recalled, that overturns an election because it's not the lieutenant governor who takes over. Oh, no. It's whatever celebrity fucknut gets the most votes. 

In this year's recall, Governor Gavin Newsom, who won with nearly 62% of the vote in 2018, could have been removed from office and replaced with the top vote-getter in the dumbfuck second part of the recall, which is picking someone else to replace the recalled official. In this case, the Democratic governor may have been replaced with nutzoid Republican piece of shit Grade D talk radio fucknut Larry Elder. Elder got 2.3 million votes. In 2018, Newsom got 7.7 million. But Elder would have taken over. Now that's undemocratic times nearly 4. But it is the law, like impeachment, so even if the law is idiotic, you gotta follow it. 

So here's the conundrum: Republicans had no problem embracing the California recall like it was their grandma they haven't seen in a year because of Covid. Impeachment? Illegitimate. Cali recall? Awesome beyond awesome. 

That's Republicanism in a nutshell right there. They love the laws and the rules when they can contort them to do their bidding, like fucking a mannequin with multiple joints in its arms and legs. Think Mitch McConnell and the Supreme Court. Man, he bent that mannequin of ethics and tradition in two and twisted its legs behind its head and put its cold finger up his asshole while he balled away, gleefully denying Merrick Garland any consideration while speeding Amy Coney Barrett through like she had explosive diarrhea and needed to get to the shitter. 

But the second those laws go against them? Then everyone's fucking cheating and everything's fucking rigged and everywhere there's illegal shit happening. 

They tried to do that with the California recall, teeing up the outrage machine prior to the election, priming the bullshit pump for the results they knew would be coming. Trump himself bellowed about how he was cheated in the state in 2020, which is stupid on its face, on its chest, and on its ass. Other right-wing self-fellaters jumped in, and Elder even wouldn't say if he would accept the outcome, declaring that there "might very well be shenanigans."

What fucked all that up was the overwhelming win by Newsom, receiving 64% of the vote so far. It was such a blowout that Elder actually conceded (while hinting he might run for governor in 2022, which would be hilarious). Democrats in California told Republicans to suck their balls and take that Trumpy shit somewhere else. This time, the rules and laws worked in Democrats' favor. 

Rather than make any kind of broad predictions about the midterms based on this - although it should be noted that the enthusiasm Democratic voters had was much higher than prognosticators thought it would be - another lesson we can take from the recall is that the Republican playbook is to undermine our election laws. That's not a big revelation. I mean, most of the fucked allegations of fraud or election "shenanigans" involved trying to attack laws passed by legislatures or actions resulting from a court decision. The fucking GOP tried to say that allowing people to vote by mail during a goddamned pandemic was really about allowing election fraud. That's some monstrous shit right there.

And if they would dare to attempt this play with California, a state where Democrats have a 2-1 registration margin, a state that Trump delusionally said he only lost because of the votes of "illegal immigrants," if they would fuck around there, they're gearing up to fuck around everywhere. 

So it's beyond time that Democrats use the rules and eliminate or, at the very least, "reform" the filibuster in the US Senate and get voting rights secured. That's a fair evolution of process and not the blatant fuckery of McConnell's Supreme Court seat grab or refusal to allow votes on pretty much fucking anything. 

Because if Democrats don't, then, in 2022, barring the entire nation telling Republicans to go to hell by huge margins, the balls will be in the other mouth.

9/10/2021

9/11 Knows America Lies to Itself

9/11 hates these years the most. Every half-decade, the annual commemoration is amped up, as if some magic exists in numbers that end in 5 or 0. Every time, the same speeches, the same images, the same patriotic fervor in some places, the same performative sense of loss in others, the same, the same. The only part she feels still has any power is the reading of names. It has an incantatory quality, like a Buddhist prayer, with the timed striking of a sonorous bell. She feels something then. 9/11 is accustomed to feeling nothing anymore. She has been used and brutalized and caressed and beaten and loved and raped and paraded on high and dragged through the streets. 

She was degraded regularly by George W. Bush and Rudy Giuliani and the monsters and ogres of that time, forced on her knees to choke as they forced their anxious pricks into her mouth, desperate to steal her power for themselves. She was told to get out and perform for the Obama administration, to dance a whore's dance, to masturbate for the masses in order to justify the unending war done in her name. And through it all, every ceremony, every time she's been dragged out to take her defiled part in, she has appreciated the reading of names. Because then it isn't about them. It isn't about Bush or Cheney or Osama or, ludicrously, Saddam. It isn't about every TV demagogue trying to force finger her or every candidate for office slapping her ass. No. It's not about them. It's not even really about her. It's about heart-wrenching loss and soul-breaking hurt, which is all it really should be. The rest is worthless. 

9/11 hates the lie that Americans desperately need to believe. She wants to scream at her TV or her iPad whenever a report comes on that talks about how the country "came together," how there was "unity," how we "cared about each other." 9/11 knows the purpose of this lie, to cover up the instant divisions in the nation, to bury the hatred that welled up in the streets and in the police precincts, to spackle over the holes in the American conscience that could justify everything that came after. They say, "Never forget" over and over, like a mantra of the deluded inside a rubber room, as if a country that is devoted to forgetting its real past, its evil and its racism and its violence and its cruelty, has to cling to this illusion of a moment in time, a fantasy of togetherness across party, across identities, across the world. 

9/11 doesn't remember it the way the overheated politicians and the frothing media figures remember it. She remembers how Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld got harder than they had in years at the chance to blow shit up. She remembers how completely a spell was cast over the American people, with anyone opposing blowing shit up being labeled a traitor. She remembers how many other lies were told, about who was responsible, about what bombing the shit out of them would do, about how people had too much freedom in their lives and that it needed to be limited. She watched, even from the pied-a-terre near smoldering Ground Zero where Karl Rove had stashed her in so she could be conveniently and roughly sodomized by him whenever it seemed the public was straying from walking the War on Terror line, and she saw how immigrants were mistreated and stigmatized by the Bush administration, even as so much lip service was paid to not blaming those immigrants. Or Americans. 9/11 has felt all the savagery done in her name, every drone strike in Yemen, in Pakistan, in Afghanistan, in Sudan, all under the banner of fighting them there so they don't come here when, really, almost none of them want to come here. She has heard every civilian scream. She knows the faces of the tens of thousands upon tens of thousands who were killed, the payback for the almost three thousand killed on her birthdate, when she emerged, whole and adult, from the burning rubble that was made of poison.

It all disgusts her, but, she has to admit, seeing her reflection in the glass on the outside of the museum that bears her name, the nausea from her disgust has kept her in pretty good shape. It's more than she can say for some of the ghouls from back in that time. Sean Hannity looks like someone put two wax dummies of him together. Kellyanne Conway looks like she was washed in a filthy river and balled up in a corner. And Giuliani? 9/11 doesn't even know how he's still alive. But she figures the Devil he made a deal with is just enjoying watching Rudy crash and burn. And so does 9/11.

9/11 does appreciate the memorial in Lower Manhattan. She can stare at the water falling into the void for hours at a time, allowing herself to feel as if she is falling into it, too. She can turn and smile at the giant One World Trade Center building. Goddamn, she's relieved they stopped calling it "the Freedom Tower." What a crass, awful name. It's not as bad as "Patriot Day," as some like to call her. That just reeks of flop sweat, like explaining a joke that no one laughed at. Which, really, that name kind of is. 

Fewer and fewer people notice her now in the plaza. That's the one nice thing about the years going by. She's not something real to so many now. And those who do notice her are startled when they see her, but they don't approach her. They don't want to know the real her. They need the illusion. 

9/11 can't give that to them anymore. If nothing else, the end of the war in Afghanistan has made plain that she was never the gal they thought she was. And that's hard for most of them to deal with.

She does want to hear the names again. But that list should keep being read with everyone killed in the name of those names, victims as sure as those who died here in Manhattan or over at the Pentagon or in a field in Pennsylvania. 9/11 believes that's the only way to tell the truth: since that day 20 years ago, it has never not been 9/11.

9/07/2021

Don't Tell Me Not to Mock People Who Hate My Guts

This past weekend, I was at an event where I learned that someone with whom I have shared some good times "hates your fucking guts," as a cousin of his told me. Why do my fucking guts so upset him? Did I kick his cat or shit on his sofa or fuck his son and leave him? Nothing like that. It's my politics. He hates my fucking guts because I don't believe that Donald Trump was a great president and that Joe Biden is destroying the country. And here's the thing: I knew he was very conservative for a long time. I even knew he went full MAGA. But I never disliked him. I disliked his beliefs, but I can separate that out, especially for someone like him who really has been through hell for the last few years for a number of health-related reasons for him and his loved ones. So, fuck it, I just didn't talk politics with him. There's a whole lot of other shit to bond over.

Apparently not, though. I don't know what tilted him into hating my fucking guts. I don't know when it happened. I do know that he didn't speak to me or even acknowledge me at a gathering this weekend. I do know that he wants nothing to do with me. I don't know if he wishes me harm, but what I did find out was that he supported the January 6 insurrection and demands justice for Ashli Babbit, the terrorist shitbird who got her empty head shot when she tried to break through cops guarding Congress. Mostly, at this point in time, I just pity the deluded fucker. 

The timing of this weird-ass, playground-level bullshit couldn't have been more perfect because over the last week or so, we've been treated to various levels of shame-shaming those of us who mock the fuck out of the deranged and pathetic losers who die after willfully and proudly refusing to get vaccinated or who do something arugably stupider and treat themselves with the horse and sheep deworming drug Ivermectin if they get Covid after not getting vaccinated.

The pleas for kindness or empathy cross ideological lines. In The Atlantic, Elizabeth Bruenig asks us to "Stop Death Shaming" the unvaccinated and says, "It’s worth considering what an honest persuasion effort aimed at the unvaccinated or vaccine-hesitant would look like," although the answer is "It would look like exactly what was done when the vaccine first came out." Writer Conor Friedersdorf asks us to stop "mocking people" for sucking down horse paste and instead do the "tedious work" of convincing them not to suck down horse paste. In the National Review (motto: "Democracy dies in the darkness we created"), longtime right-wing dickstain John Fund wants us to be nicer to people who ingest Ivermectin because there is a version for humans. That's a common refrain: there's a human version that is widely prescribed in places where parasitic worms are an issue (and I don't mean the Republican Party, hey-yo!), so, you know, those who think it's worth a chance to take it shouldn't be instantly dismissed and insulted. 

And all I can say is "Don't be fucking ridiculous. Of course, we're gonna make fun of them. All of them." First, on the Ivermectin insanity, yeah, rich pricks like Joe Rogan can pay a doesn't-give-a-fuck doctor to get the human prescription version, but most of the people doing it aren't rich pricks. They're poor and middle class pricks whose doctors are telling them, "The fuck is wrong with you? Fuck, no, I'm not prescribing the anti-lice and worm drugs for you" so they go to the ol' feed and seed and pick it up. Or, for ten bucks, some Walmarts. It's a tube of paste, for real, often apple flavored, and dumb motherfuckers are sucking it down to prevent or cure their Covid. It's gotten so bad that the FDA and other health officials, as well as the makers of Ivermectin, Merck, have issued statements saying, more or less, "Would you dumb rednecks stop sucking down the sheep goo?" And the goo is selling out at farm stores because you don't need a veterinarian's prescription to get it for your horse or sheep or cow (there is an injectable version that does need a prescription). A Memphis feed store can't keep it on the shelves. A Las Vegas store wants you to prove you have a horse before you can buy it. While, sure, the story about Ivermectin overdoses preventing gunshot victims from being seen at a hospital in Oklahoma was, at best, overblown, the fact is that people are calling poison control in huge numbers after taking the horse drug and they are ODing and taking up space in the ERs with their stupidity.

And you can make all kinds of statements about how we need to understand why people might do this absolutely fucking moronic thing. You can talk about the unfair medical system and rural areas without access to proper care or how desperate people do desperate things. You can blah, blah, blah all fucking day trying to fluff that sympathy cock into a full-blown erection, but it fails for one simple reason. There's a goddamn vaccine. It's free. It works. That's the answer. Anything you try to say after that is bullshit. It's all a lie. You don't want the vaccine because it's "experimental," but you'll eat the horse goo even though it's totally untested for Covid. That's fucking hilarious. You don't want the vaccine because you heard it might harm you and then you got Covid and died. That's so fucking miserable that I better make fun of it or I'll scream at your grave about what a shit-souled loser you were. 

I don't hate them. I pity them and feel superior to them because, well, I am (and so is everybody who gets vaccinated and doesn't put a tube of cow paste to their lips). I won't treat them like children. As I've said repeatedly, they are adults who made an adult decision to listen to assholes instead of doctors. So I save my hatred for Tucker Carlson and Joe Rogan and Ron Johnson and every scum from the garbage pail bottom who keeps telling their viewers or listeners or voters not to get vaccinated and to try this bullshit drug or that bullshit cure. 

No, I don't hate the willfully unvaccinated, but I don't have sympathy. I lost that a long goddamn time ago. And that's because the people we are trying to convince to get vaccinated hate our fucking guts and dream of slaughtering us or at least exiling or concentration camping us. So, yeah, I'm gonna keep mocking them for their refusal to do the easiest goddamn thing in the world. I'm gonna do it because they scare the fuck out of me by their actions that might end up dragging us all down into the ditch with them and joking about it keeps me sane amidst this genuine insanity. Being nice about it is a waste of goddamn time. 

Plus, c'mon, finding out that some of these idiots are eating so much horse paste that they shit out their intestinal lining and think it's worms and then think that's a good thing? That's comedy gold. 

(Just to note about the opening story: He wasn't a good friend or anything. Just someone who I always enjoyed seeing when a particular group gathered, so his loss doesn't leave a hole in my life. More of a "Huh. That's fucked up.")

9/06/2021

A Poem for Those Who Do the Work

A Poem About Abortion
by Devi Lockwood

No, not scrubs. Put on your tight purple dress and heels,
dig them into the new carpet. You have to look gorgeous,
that way they’ll trust you. And the patients start pouring in.
Here’s to many pregnant women in this small town, many
small hands growing inside them. A computer and some wine.
Jessica Brent came on the radio while I gave another woman
an ultrasound. She was picking her guitar, rubbing her belly,
telling the imagined audience she is the oldest child, and lovesick,
and where did this baby come from? Down by the river,
not a single couple makes out in the dark. After work
I like to stand there alone, where old meets new. I watch
the Mighty Miss, her ebbs. What is growth? Where are we

flowing out of ourselves and into someone else, their stories?
How slowly must a thing grow to be alive? I can’t quite make
out the other shore, but I know it’s there. I would reach my hands
out to touch it, but my arms aren’t long enough and I don’t know
how to swim. In this mighty state, a woman has to have an ultrasound
before the pregnancy is undone. Somewhere one of my patients pees
on a stick and lets down her hands and her hopes like a shade
at a too-bright window. It is dark outside. No one wants
the neighbors to see. You can’t outrun their hands digging
knives into turkey breasts, you can’t answer every question they ask,
every way they try to tell you they love you. Let’s legislate your body.
They love you. They do. To the many pregnant women

in this small town, and as many small bodies growing inside them,
I want to say: if we look nervous, it’s because we are. Somewhere
fear is a condom in the back of a wallet pressed shut, a pile of cash
on the kitchen table. Somewhere cities aren’t the only places
with healthcare and somewhere abortions are free. In my line of work,
I need love to keep my hands from freezing on the inside. There are people
carrying signs outside my door, shouting arguments about fingernail
development. I need a pen to spin through my fingers when they are idle.
I need you to turn up the radio, louder please. Just so that I don’t have
to listen to this shit again. When I retire, I want to live in a meadow with
not one child, not one soul in sight. Really, they kiss the wind
as they blow past. 

9/03/2021

Have You Read That Destructive Texas Anti-Choice Law? It's Hot, Harmful Garbage

First and foremost, this is a tragedy for women in Texas. The incredibly cruel, physically and mentally harmful, and intentionally divisive anti-abortion law that the Supreme Court allowed to go into effect on Wednesday night will end up with women being maimed or killed or forced to be vessels for fetuses that they do not want to carry, including the products of rape and incest (which, let's be clear, is almost always rape no matter what other word you wanna use), including the fetuses of abusive men. They will be forced to carry those fetuses when they know that they cannot afford the baby (and one reason they cannot afford the baby is because those who are forcing them to carry the fetus provide almost nothing to support the baby). It is a tragedy because it tells a woman that whatever existence she thought she might have, it must become secondary to "mother" once she gets pregnant and doesn't abort the fetus prior to six weeks of gestation, before many women even know they're pregnant. The mostly men who passed this law are savages who cannot wait to bathe in the blood of botched abortions. That will sanctify their brutal, backwards actions and satisfy their desire to kill those who oppose their Christian extremism. 

It's also a fucking weird law. What the fuck is this legitimizing vigilantism shit? So, just to get this right, anyone other than a government official (because that would be unconstitutional, I guess) can bring a lawsuit against anyone who performs an abortion after six weeks, as well as anyone who helps a woman get an abortion after six weeks, including, and this is a level of dickishness that conservatives aspire to but rarely reach, anyone who "knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion, including paying for or reimbursing the costs of an abortion through insurance or otherwise, if the abortion is performed or induced in violation of this subchapter, regardless of whether the person knew or should have known that the abortion would be performed or induced." 

You got that? If you're an insurance company that reimburses the cost of an abortion, you can get sued. If you drive your friend to a doctor's appointment and she doesn't tell you it's for an abortion, you can get sued. How far can this go? Perhaps if you advise a woman on how to get an abortion out of state? I mean, obviously, stopping women's right to choose trumps the First Amendment now in Texas. 

Not dickish enough? Then there's this: anyone who "intends to engage in the conduct" of providing or helping with an abortion can be sued. That's right. If you told your friend you're going to drive her to get an abortion, your neighbor can sue you before you even do it if he happens to find out about it. And any fuckin' Karen or Cletus can sue you for meth money. Doesn't matter who the fuck it is, from the cockscabs at anti-choice groups to random, greedy fucknuts and assholes. 

Not dickish enough? Not only can the random, greedy fucknut win at least $10,000 from you for showing that you intended to drive your friend to get an abortion, but you have to pay fucknut's legal fees.

Not dickish enough? If greedy fucknut sues you and loses, you are still stuck with your legal fees. That's right. There is no disincentive for just bringing a whole bunch of lawsuits and seeing what the fuck sticks. How many skeevy lawyers are gonna make bank on this?

The goddamn law just goes on and on, foreclosing nearly any avenue that might show even a bit of compassion for women. The bounty hunters have up to four years from the date when anyone did anything to help a woman get an abortion after six weeks. And you can't bring up that Roe v. Wade is allegedly still the law of the land as a defense. 

It's a fucking mess. It purposely turns citizens against each other. It pays people for playing Abortion Batman. It victimizes the women of Texas who were already being victimized by some of the most blindingly dickish anti-choice laws in the country. I mean, why would you talk to your friends about your choices after you find out you're pregnant? You'd be completely justified in thinking that you might get them in trouble or they might turn against you. Shit, a rapist can sue anyone who would try to help his victim get an abortion if he impregnated her as a result of the, you know, rape. Goddamn, fuck you, Greg Abbott and the Texas legislature. Just fuck you.

And the idea that the Supreme Court would look at this and 5 justices would say, "Yeah, we can let that fly for now" is frightening beyond words. More on that, and what we can do, next week. 

(By the way, the law allows for doctors to be able to perform an abortion if they "did not detect a fetal heartbeat." There are also exceptions for "medical emergency." So it's possible that doctors can lie for the good of their patients. Fine system there, Texas.)

(Correction: I had something in here about the burden of proof being on the accused. That was wrong and proved that I'm not a lawyer. Thanks to SkepticScott61 on Twitter for kicking my ass into learning something.)