The anti-choice tidal wave stemming from the 2010 elections has produced nearly 1,000 anti-choice bills this year alone. When Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) took office last year, he called on the state legislature to create “a culture of life” and, in the last 15 minutes of their annual session, they delivered. The Republican majority passed a law to ban insurance companies from offering abortion coverage in their general health plans, except when a woman’s life is at risk.
However, one pro-choice Republican, state Rep. Barbara Bollier, feared that Republicans were cutting off “a way for women to cover the cost of terminating pregnancies” — particularly when they’re unintended. During the House debate, she “questioned whether women would buy abortion-only policies long before they have crisis or unwanted pregnancies or are rape victims.” But state Rep. Pete DeGraaf (R) was ready with a shocking retort. DeGraaf said women should plan ahead for situations such as rape because, after all, “I have a spare tire on my car“:
During the House’s debate, Rep. Pete DeGraaf, a Mulvane Republican who supports the bill, told [Bollier]: “We do need to plan ahead, don’t we, in life?”
Bollier asked him, “And so women need to plan ahead for issues that they have no control over with a pregnancy?”
DeGraaf drew groans of protest from some House members when he responded, “I have spare tire on my car.”
“I also have life insurance,” he added. “I have a lot of things that I plan ahead for.”
DeGraaf’s belief that women should plan and prepare for their own rape is more than groan-worthy, it’s woefully out-of-touch. As Jezebel’s Margaret Hartmann notes, DeGraaf is basically telling sexual assault victims that “the state isn’t AAA” so a Kansas woman is responsible for the consequences of her attacker. And by comparing it to life insurance, DeGraaf goes further to insinuate that rape is as inevitable as death.
Unfortunately, this Boy Scout dismissal of rape and incest victims is as galling as it is common among the GOP. More and more Republican lawmakers are adopting the Sharron Angle “make lemonade” attitude towards pregnancies resulting from rape. This year, one Indiana lawmaker even suggested that women would fake their own rapes to secure an abortion procedure.
“There’s clearly a message here that women are dispensable,” said Kansas state Rep. Annie Kuether (D).”I’m sick and tired of being treated like a second-class citizen.”
|Norman Goldman May 19th 2011 Full Show |
Click Text Link Above to Hear Full Radio Show
Thursday, May 19, 2011
| Today, justice is served on the Middle East and North Africa! The President made a major policy address and he covered a lot of bases. I'll get you caught up! Elizabeth Warren, de facto chief of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has made her first move. What is... |
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| Wednesday, May 18, 2011 |
| Today, justice is served on the brown shirts that ARE the Republicon Party! Newt Gingrinch speaks out of turn and is STOMPED! The inmates are running the asylum! ANOTHER loony, Tom Coburn R-Oklahoma) quit the "Gang of Six" talks. What does THAT mean? ANOTHER loony, Clarence Thomas, calls US... |
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| Tuesday, May 17, 2011 |
| Today, justice is served on health insurance companies; Republicons holding America hostage; George W. Bush and Dick W. Cheney; Arnold Schwarzenegger; the student loan crisis; Newt Gingrinch and the 'Cons; plus public employee unions and pensions. Health insurers are making record profits. Why? I'll explain! The debt ceiling hostage negotiations... |
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| Monday, May 16, 2011 |
| Today, justice is served on Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee, Paul Ryan, the Republicons generally, plus the U.S. Supreme Court; the Indiana Supreme Court and the public union pension debate! This weekend saw two 'Con members decide not to run for President - where does that leave the field? The U.S. Supreme Court...|
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by Joe Pompeo
In the last installment of the Fox News-fueled controversy involving the rapper Common's appearance last week at a White House poetry reading, Bill O'Reilly had challenged Comedy Central's Jon Stewart to debate the issue on his 8 p.m. Fox show, "The O'Reilly Factor."
At issue is Common's sympathy for two convicted cop killers, Mumia Abu Jamal and Assata Shakur, who have both long had the support of left-wing activists who believe neither received a fair trial. O'Reilly argued last week that it was unacceptable for the White House to have hosted Common. Stewart argued that O'Reilly and his Fox News colleagues were simply manufacturing the controversy to pump up ratings and viewer outrage.
O'Reilly and Stewart have a curious love-hate relationship. Each host's past appearances on the other's show have made for great TV, and Monday night was no exception. Fox News pre-taped the interview and broke it into two parts. The first aired last night in two clips (see Part One above, and Part Two after the jump, below). The second half of the exchange will air on "The O'Reilly Factor" tonight. Here's a recap of round one:
Monday's segment began with Stewart clarifying why he believes Common has advocated for Shakur.
"What I think he's doing is not celebrating, but honoring someone he believes was wrongly convicted of cop killing," said the "Daily Show" host. "I think he believes she was convicted unjustly."
Maybe so--but O'Reilly fired back by arguing that the White House unfairly validated and elevated Common as a poet. "Do you know how many poets would have liked to have been there?" he said. "Why did he get that honor in your opinion?"
"Because I think he's not defined as an artist by this Assata Shakur case," said Stewart.
To illustrate his point, Stewart brought up Leonard Peltier, the Native American activist convicted of killing two FBI agents: "Guess who wrote a song about Leonard Peltier? [U2's] Bono. Guess where he was? The White House."
"Boo-yah!" Stewart exclaimed in mock triumph. (In a mock-pedagogic aside to O'Reilly he explained: "That's a rap word.")
Stewart then cited Bob Dylan as another White House-honored artist who had composed a song about a convicted killer--the former boxer Ruben "Hurricane" Carter.
Which brought him to the crux of his argument: "There is a selective outrage machine here at Fox that pettifogs only when it suits the narrative that suits them," he said. "This guy is in the cross hairs in a way that he shouldn't be, whether you agree with him or not."
The interview generated strong reactions online. The Nation's Ari Melber called it "a virtuoso duel where comedy eviscerated farce." Business Insider's Glynnis MacNicol applauded both hosts for producing a feature "that shows ... opposite sides of the political spectrum partaking in intelligent discussion. Emphasis on intelligent."
As for how many people were watching, if Stewart's last appearance on "The O'Reilly Factor" is any indication, you can expect higher than usual ratings for Monday's and tonight's editions of the show.
When 16-year-old Amy Myers launched her campaign to be class president at Cherry Hill East High School in New Jersey, the boys in her sophomore class began teasing her. And that crash course in how aspiring female leaders get judged on the basis of gender led, in a roundabout way, to Myers' challenge to debate Minnesota GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann on the Constitution.
"Your slogan for president should be that you're not a witch," Myers' male detractors said, referencing the much-mocked campaign stance of ex-Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell, who decided to confront her years-old statements about Wicca head-on in her first TV ad. The boys told Myers she just wanted to be "another girl politician" like O'Donnell and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, whom the boys (and pretty much every late-night comedian) often made fun of.
"And I just said, 'oh great,'" recalls Myers.
Myers was angry that many of the most visible female politicians were seen as fodder for jokes and ridicule, which made her peers think it was ok to mock her political aspirations, too. She singled out Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) after her father noticed the congresswoman had incorrectly stated the Revolutionary War Battles of Lexington and Concord happened in New Hampshire. (She told a group of conservatives in Manchester in March: "You're the state where the shot was heard around the world in Lexington and Concord.") In January, Myers watched agasp as Bachmann said America's founding fathers "worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States."
"We covered the presidents, and we're currently at Jackson," Myers says. She says that though John Adams (and his son John Quincy Adams, who was not a founding father) objected to slavery, the other founding fathers did own slaves. They were all dead before slavery was officially abolished in 1865, during the Civil War.
She decided that Bachmann's inaccurate historical statements were irresponsible, since they reflected badly on women everywhere, and particularly on Myers herself. (We at The Lookout would like to point out that politicians of both genders frequently say stupid things; you can consult our sister blog The Ticket for proof.) The forceful letter Myers ended up writing to Bachmann, challenging her to a showdown over the Constitution and civics generally, quickly went viral on political blogs. Many Yahoo! commenters suggested that all politicians be forced to take the challenge before being allowed to take office.
As the letter picked up national attention, Myers' campaign to be class president also started to gather steam. And she finally feels she is getting respect from the boys who teased her.
"The big joke in school is: Want to hear a funny joke? Haha, women's rights," says Myers. "Also the boys will tell you, 'Oh go make me a sandwich,' when you leave the table. That's what they're all like--it's awful!
But ever since this happened everyone's been cheering me on, and now everyone's so supportive. And I was surprised at how quickly everyone came to the realization that I am serious about politics," she says.
When asked about female politicians she admires, Myers lists Abigail Adams, Sandra Day O'Connor, Margaret Thatcher, and Eleanor Roosevelt. But when we asked her about current officer-holders, she paused. "I'm trying to think," she says. "Generally the people I admire, most of them are deceased or they are retired from office," she concluded.
She says that even though some people online have accused her of being a "Communist" for her criticism of Bachmann, she characterizes her own politics as independent and thinks of herself as a "split-ticket" kind of voter--once she's old enough to vote, that is.
Myers still hasn't received a response from Bachmann, but says she's ready to make good on the debate challenge at a time and venue of the congresswoman's choosing. A request for comment from Bachmann's spokesman has gone unanswered.
By Liz Goodwin
(Myers: Alexandra Elisabetta)