Tag Archives: Planned Parenthood

It’s easy to join The Resistance

AFP/Getty Images photo

In a brilliant protest, members of Greenpeace suspended a large banner reading “RESIST” near the White House early this morning. From The New York Times’ coverage of the banner, apparently the banner was up at least from around 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. EST.*

Not all of us can participate in the scale of protest that members of Greenpeace orchestrated early this morning when they apparently spent hours scaling a crane near the White House in order to hang a wonderful banner. But all of us who oppose fascism can do something.

I’m way too chicken and out of shape to climb a crane, but I can and probably will give a donation to Greenpeace. I believe in rewarding and encouraging things like Greenpeace did this morning.

I routinely give to organizations whose work I like and want to see continue. I’ve given to the American Civil Liberties Union and to Planned Parenthood, for instance, as well to environmental groups, such as the Sierra Club (and to Greenpeace in the past), and to humanitarian groups, such as Mercy Corps.

I blog.

I talk about politics to those within my sphere of influence. (As I’ve noted here many times over the past year-plus, I supported Bernie Sanders, and those within my close sphere of influence voted for him in the California primary.)

I do what I can, given my time, energy and funds.

I suspect that many of us do nothing because we think that if we can’t do something big and brilliant — along the lines of what some brave members of Greenpeace did this morning — then our contribution won’t matter.

But our contributions do matter. They add up.

Fascism thrives where complicity thrives. “President” Pussygrabber and his fascist, neo-Nazi supporters will thrive only if we allow them an environment in which to thrive. We can fairly shut them down right now if enough of us choose to do so. (The fascists, being anti-democratic by definition, are famously stubborn to public outcry, however, so yes, this is probably going to take some time, and hopefully not, but perhaps, some bloodshed. [As the right wing loves to say, freedom isn’t free.])

Impeachment and removal from office aren’t the only tool to cripple a presidency (and they are far from certain to work); ask the Repugnican Tea Party traitors who did everything in their power to cripple Barack Obama’s presidency.**

Payback is a bitch, and we who oppose Pussygrabber should encourage our elected officials to be just as obstructive as the Repugnican Tea Party traitors have been obstructive over the past several years. (Most of what “President” Pussygrabber & Co. propose and do are and are going to be destructive, and so most of what they propose and do should be obstructed as much as possible.)

Even if one or more of your elected officials is a Repugnican, enough outcry from his or her constituents can make even a Repugnican elected official back away from the train wreck on crack that is “President” Pussygrabber. The vast majority of elected officials, after all, want to remain elected officials.

Yes, contacting your elected officials matters. Most people never contact their elected officials, thinking that it won’t matter, so your contact is magnified. I routinely e-mail my elected officials. (Sometimes I send them snail mails, especially on the issues that most concern me, but usually I e-mail them.) If you can visit your elected officials’ offices, including participating in protests at their offices, that’s even better. That does get their attention. (I’m not into calling my elected officials’ offices, as I prefer written communication, but if that is your thing, go for it.)

Organizations that are suing the Pussygrabber administration (such as the ACLU) — and there will be many federal lawsuits against the Pussygrabber administration — could probably use your donation, as lawsuits aren’t cheap.

I surmise that federal lawsuits are going to prove to be the No. 1 weapon against the unelected Pussygrabber administration’s fascist, unconstitutional and anti-American actions. Indeed, we have three branches of government in order to keep any one branch from getting out of control.

Pussygrabber is a modern-day Caligula, but unlike Caligula was, he is not an emperor. He will find that while it has been one thing to be the king of a business empire, the American empire is another thing entirely.

Pussygrabber is not a legitimate U.S. president, and so we should point out his illegitimacy at every opportunity.

The No. 1 thing in resisting the Pussygrabber administration, I think, is not to keep quiet. The Germans in Nazi Germany kept quiet and we know the consequences of their silence.

So speak up. Don’t be afraid; the unelected Pussygrabber regime can’t imprison or torture or kill all of us, and as soon as its treasonous members start to imprison or torture or kill any of us, it’s all over for them in short order anyway.

Be as effective as you can within your own sphere of influence. Most of us who oppose “President” Pussygrabber and all that he stands for effectively have our own cell, and millions of cells together make a difference.

Besides, think of the advantage that we of The Resistance already have: Despite his treasonous, anti-democratic lies to the contrary — and kudos to The New York Times for this week having flat-out called Pussygrabber’s lie a lie — about 3 million more of us voted for Billary Clinton than for Pussygrabber, and his approval ratings right now are historically low for a new “president.”

Pussygrabber is weak — and he knows it. He is scared — and he should be.

For more ideas of how to resist, you might consider reading the newly released book The Trump Survival Guide. Soon I’m going to buy the great political writer Matt Taibbi’s Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the 2016 Circus.

Revisiting some classics can be useful, too. George Orwell’s anti-fascist 1984 (which is No. 1 on amazon.com as I type this sentence [and a different edition of the novel right now is at No. 6]) is a great read, and I’m planning to purchase Sinclair Lewis’ anti-fascist It Can’t Happen Here (which is No. 7 on amazon.com as I type this sentence).

You don’t even have to read a book. You simply can Google ideas. Hell, you don’t even have to type anything into Google’s search bar; I’ve done that for you, so just click here.

The main thing is to do something.

That’s always better than doing nothing.

Welcome to The Resistance, where every contribution matters.

The people, united, will never be defeated.

*The Times reports:

… Travis Nichols, a spokesman for Greenpeace, the environmental advocacy organization for which the activists were volunteering, said the protesters were there “to resist the environmental, economic and racial injustice that Trump and his administration have already laid out and put into practice.”

In his first week in office, Mr. Trump’s administration instructed officials at the Environmental Protection Agency to freeze grants and contracts, and, according to Reuters, ordered the agency to remove the climate change page from its website.

Mr. Trump has also resurrected the Keystone and Dakota Access pipeline projects that have been the subject of virulent protests by environmental activists. …

**I have had my problems with the-not-nearly-progressive-or-aggressive-enough Obama, and have written about them here over the years, but I recognize that he was the twice-duly-elected president of the United States of America. In 2008 and in 2012 he won both the popular vote and the Electoral College — and, unlike George W. Bush and “President” Pussygrabber, not only did he win the popular vote, the only vote that really matters in an actual democracy, but he didn’t get an assist from the U.S. Supreme Court or from an enemy nation.

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No! Not you, Syed!

Updated below (on Saturday, December 5, 2015)

Above is a selfie that 28-year-old Syed Farook had posted on Facebook sometime before he perpetrated yesterday’s gun massacre in San Bernardino, California, killing 14 people in what appears thus far to have been an act of workplace-related violence. While the right wing, which pretty much ignored the recent act of domestic terrorism committed at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs (since the terrorist is a white, probably “Christian” man), will be all over this gun massacre, a look at the gun massacres committed in the United States since 1984 shows that the majority of the perpetrators have been white, native-born males, most of whom probably have self-identified, along with the majority of Americans, as “Christian.”

I was disheartened yesterday when I saw the name of the suspect in yesterday’s gun massacre of 14 people at a county-government holiday party in San Bernardino: Syed Farook.

Sounded awfully Muslim to me, and Muslims (along with “the illegals” from south of the border) already have been turned into scapegoats for all of the United States of America’s problems as it is.

Details will continue to roll in, but the Los Angeles Times reports today:

As authorities continued to comb through the home of the husband and wife responsible for a mass shooting at a San Bernardino holiday party, investigators and legislators from California to Washington, D.C., tried to understand what motivated the shooters.

Speaking at the White House [this] morning, President Obama said the FBI was now leading the probe into the attack at the Inland Regional Center, which left 14 people dead and 17 wounded.

Investigators have yet to rule out terrorism as a motive, but police have also said one of the shooters, 28-year-old Syed Farook, was involved in a dispute at the party shortly before gunfire broke out. Farook and his wife, 27-year-old Tashfeen Malik, were killed in a gun battle with police hours after the shooting.

“We do know that the two individuals who were killed were equipped with weapons and appeared to have access to additional weaponry at their homes,” Obama said. “But we don’t know why they did it. We don’t know at this point the extent of their plans. We do not know their motivations.”

Farook and Malik were identified as the lone suspects in Wednesday’s shooting at the party for employees of the San Bernardino County Health Department. Farook was born in Illinois, but recently traveled to Saudi Arabia and returned with a woman he met online. He had worked at the health department as an inspector for five years.

Malik was born in Pakistan, according to a federal law enforcement source who requested anonymity.

The couple left their young daughter with the child’s grandmother in Redlands shortly before the shooting, saying they had a doctor’s appointment, according to Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Los Angeles.

They headed to the [Inland Regional Center] soon after. …

Farook and Malik used a pair of .223-caliber assault rifles and two semi-automatic handguns in the shooting, San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said [today].

The couple was dressed in “assault-style” clothing when police closed in on their Redlands home Wednesday afternoon, roughly four hours after the shooting. The couple fled, sparking a vehicle pursuit that ended back in San Bernardino. Both were killed in a shootout that involved roughly 20 police officers.

An officer was also hurt, but is expected to survive, Burguan said.

In San Bernardino, relatives of the victims were still trying to process how an event meant to celebrate a holiday turned into a bloodletting. …

It’s safe to conclude that Syed Farook was off of his rocker. My best guess is that his wife was following his lead, that he had her under his control. This tends to be a cultural thing in Islam: the submissive, obedient wife. (Keep in mind that Tashfeen Malik reportedly was born in Pakistan and met Farook in Saudi Arabia; she apparently was not Americanized.)

How much of the shooting (if any) that Farook’s wife did I’m not sure; I mean, it initially was reported that there were three shooters, and it turns out that there apparently were only two, so I have no idea as to what extent Malik participated.

Since Farook reportedly shot up his workplace’s holiday party after a dispute at the party, this (thus far, anyway) is indicative of workplace-related violence, not of terrorism. Terrorism has a political aim.

Robert Lewis Dear, for instance, is said to have muttered something about “baby parts” after he shot up the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs and is reported to have made anti-abortion and anti-government statements to law enforcement officials since he committed the act of terrorism. No doubt he listened to right-wing rhetoric, such as Faux “News” and the rhetoric of the Repugnican Tea Party “presidential” candidates themselves, the most guilty one probably Carly Fiorina, who probably knowingly falsely described abortion videos during one of the neo-Nazis’ “presidential” debates.

(Yes, lies uttered by high-level individuals can result in harm. We are responsible for what we say, especially when we have a large audience. I highly recommend Ted Rall’s recent column on this topic.)

Again, my best guess is that Farook had some screws loose. That said, native-born, “normative” Americans almost always claim that they always have treated every co-worker (or fellow student or other comrade) who is odd or different perfectly well, especially after a chronically mistreated co-worker (or fellow student or other comrade) finally snaps and goes postal, as it were.

We don’t know how Farook acted in the workplace and how his co-workers treated him. Someone with mental illness can’t handle workplace mistreatment as well as can someone who is fairly mentally healthy.

Don’t get me wrong — it’s possible that Farook was a paranoid schizophrenic or something like that and that his co-workers did treat him fairly well, but I wouldn’t rule out that he chronically was mistreated for being different, such as for being Muslim, for having a foreign-sounding name, and for having married a woman from the Middle East.

If Farook did experience anti-Muslim treatment at his workplace, perhaps especially after the Paris terrorist attacks of last month, well, there you go. That could set off someone who already isn’t mentally stable.

I recall the November 2009 gun massacre at Ford Hood, Texas, in which Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan claimed that anti-Muslim harassment at the base contributed to his rampage in which he slaughtered 13 and injured 32 others.

Those who knew Hasan described him as a nice, quiet man. But we don’t know what abuse he probably endured within the right-wing atmosphere of the U.S. military (and our military pretty much is overrun with “Christo”fascists, who love guns and killing more than they love “God”), since abusers are pretty good at perpetrating their abuse when they feel safe to do so, when no one in authority who might do anything about it is around (this is for “plausible” deniability, of course).

American wingnuts, especially in Texas, were outraged when the federal government decided to treat the case of Hasan as a workplace violence incident rather than as an act of terrorism — because Hasan (who is still alive and in prison) is Muslim. This reaction of theirs (their assertion that any act of violence perperated by a Muslim automatically qualifies as “terrorism” because the perpetrator is Muslim) demonstrates, I believe, the anti-Muslim sentiment and harassment that Hasan claims he experienced (I believe him that he experienced such harassment, especially at a U.S. military base in Texas).*

Similarly, thus far in the Syed Farook case the only evidence that we have is that this was an incident of workplace-related violence. As Farook and his wife are dead, we may never know for certain his entire motives, and thus we may never be able to conclude whether or not yesterday’s massacre was even quasi-terrorism instead of an extreme act of workplace violence.

While this latest American gun massacre was committed by a Muslim, for perspective you should take a look at the Los Angeles Times’ ongoing roundup of American gun massacres since 1984.

You’ll see that most perpetrators of gun massacres in the U.S. of A. are native-born males, most of them white, and that most massacres take place at workplaces and at schools, such as the infamous Columbine High School massacre in Colorado in 1999, with the rest at public places, such as churches, such as the church in Charleston, S.C., where young white supremacist Dylann Storm Roof this past June shot nine congregants to death because they were black.

The moral of the story for workplace and school shootings, I think, is not to bully or pile on a co-worker or a fellow student (or a fellow member of the military or anyone else); it can have deadly consequences (maybe even for yourself).

Again, some people are wholly off of their rockers and can come to believe that they are being mistreated when on the whole they’re not, but often we do mistreat others, and that mistreatment can send someone who already isn’t very stable over the edge.

And let’s face it: We Americans by and large are a selfish, individualistic lot. When we see that someone is struggling, we don’t do much, if anything, to help him or her. After tragedy strikes, we plead ignorance that there had been any problem at all.

I have no desire to launch into a tiresome, trite discussion of gun control right now. While I don’t like guns and never plan to own one (but in general begrudgingly support the Second Amendment, keeping in mind that today’s incredibly lethal weaponry wasn’t around when the amendment was adopted), the underlying problem, it seems fairly clear to me, is that in this “Christian” nation we largely treat each other like shit — and we glorify violence.

(Militarism, along with capitalism and other evil -isms, has come to be considered part and parcel of American “Christianity,” even though the words of Jesus Christ contained in black and white in the Bible oppose such evils as militarism and capitalism; Jesus eschewed capitalism, having been homeless himself and having stated, among other things, that it’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God, and Jesus was, of course, murdered by Roman militarism. Yeah.)

We can talk about gun control until we pass out from hypoxia, but until and unless we examine and then change our ways at a deep, deep level, the L.A. Times’ ongoing roundup of American gun massacres is only going to continue to grow.

We are, I surmise, perfectly OK with that, however, because these gun massacres keep happening at a rate at which they happen in no other developed nation on the planet.

Update (Sunday, December 5, 2015): 

Boy, we really, really want the San Bernardino massacre to have been an “Islamo”fascist “terrorist” attack, don’t we?

So all that we have is that Syed Farook’s wife, Tashfeen Malik, pledged her allegiance to ISIS — on her Facebook page. Wow. There is no evidence that the folks who run ISIS were even aware of the existence of Farook and Malik, so we can’t call the San Bernardino massacre a “terrorist” attack if by that we mean that we have evidence of coordination by the perpetrator(s) with a known terrorist group, such as ISIS.

I mean, fuck: I can pledge allegiance to Satan on my Facebook page if I so wish; it would mean pretty much nothing.

As Vox.com points out, “the fact that Farook used to work in the same government department as the targets suggested a more personal motive.”

Yup. This still looks more like an incident of workplace-related violence than of “terrorism,” even though, per the New York Times, Malik reportedly made her pledge-of-allegiance-to-ISIS Facebook post on the day of the massacre. She was 27; perhaps she figured if she was going to go out in her husband’s workplace revenge, she’d go out dramatically. Young adults sometimes do things like that.

Recall that I have defined “terrorism” as the use of violence or the (credible) threat of the use of violence in order to achieve a political aim or goal.

Shortly after his capture, Robert Lewis Dear, the perpetrator of the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooting, is reported to apparently have talked about preventing there being more “baby parts.” His aim, apparently, was to harm Planned Parenthood and its operations and/or scare women from seeking Planned Parenthood’s services.

That is a political aim and so it qualifies as terrorism.

Even Dylann Storm Roof, who slaughtered nine black people in their church in Charleston, S.C., in June, apparently had a political agenda: white supremacy and, apparently, the elimination of black people; perhaps he even wanted to start a race war, which certainly would qualify as a political agenda.

The political agenda, if any, of Farook and Malik, remains a mystery. Again, it might primarily have been Farook wanting to get back at a co-worker or co-workers, and Malik deciding to pledge her allegiance to ISIS on her Facebook page because why not? Or it might have been both of them fully considering themselves to be big, bad soldiers of ISIS, although there is no evidence that if so, they were anything other than so-called lone wolves.

And what, exactly, would be the political objective of shooting up your workplace’s holiday party? To shut down holiday parties? I don’t see a political objective, and thus it’s hard for me to see where my definition of terrorism would come in here. (Perhaps a “political objective” could be just killing any old “infidel,” but if so, that seems to be a very sloppy and unfocused, and therefore a fairly ineffective, political objective.)

We’ll probably never fully know what Farook and Malik had in mind, since both of them are dead.

But let’s not automatically call something “terrorism” just because it was perpetrated by a Muslim or Muslims. Words have meaning.

Thus far, we can call the San Bernardino massacre a massacre. We can call it murder. We can call it mass murder. But we don’t have nearly enough evidence to slap the overused “terrorism” label on it.

P.S. I just read a Reuters news article in which I found two notes interesting.

The first: “It was not clear if the [Facebook] comments were posted by Malik, or by someone with access to her page.” So even Malik’s Facebook pledge of allegiance to ISIS apparently is not settled fact.

And the second: “Farook family attorneys denied [yesterday that] there was any evidence either the husband or wife harbored extremist views.

“They described Malik as ‘very conservative,’ and said Farook also largely kept to himself, had few friends, and that co-workers sometimes made fun of his beard.”

The report that Farook’s “co-workers sometimes made fun of his beard” is not elaborated upon, but again, I have to wonder if he was subjected to anti-Muslim taunts from his co-workers, which might have been behind to shoot them up at their holiday party.

(No, I’m not saying that it’s OK to shoot someone who has taunted you; I’m saying that people usually act for a reason.)

Finally, while reportedly ISIS in its online propaganda claims that Farook and Malik acted on its behalf, there remains no evidence that there was any coordination between Farook and Malik and ISIS, and it’s entirely possible, it seems to me, that ISIS is happy to claim credit for any slaughter of any “infidel.”

P.P.S. (Sunday, December 6, 2015): This additional information from the Los Angeles Times:

… In 2014, Farook traveled to Saudi Arabia to marry a Pakistani woman he had met online, Tashfeen Malik, 29. When he returned, his co-workers teased him about the beard he’d started to grow. Before their baby girl was born this year, they threw him a baby shower at the office. But they never met Malik. …

One of Farook’s co-workers, Nicholas Thalasinos, 57, a Messianic Jew, wore a tie clip with the Star of David. He was outspoken against Islamic extremism, in person and on social media.

Two weeks earlier, he and Farook argued over whether Islam was a violent religion. Recounting the conversation to a friend, Thalasinos said that Farook insisted his God was peaceful but argued that Israel had no place in the Middle East.

Thalasinos liked discussing such topics. There was no indication that their interaction was anything out of the ordinary. …

That Farook’s co-workers threw him a baby shower, as widely has been reported, doesn’t exactly mean that they were all angels to him all the time, and I have to wonder if the reportage about Thalasinos’ religious commentary at the workplace has been understated.

I mean, reportedly “He was outspoken against Islamic extremisim, in person and on social media,” yet “There was no indication that their interaction was anything out of the ordinary.” (As I’ve noted, after tragedy strikes a group of people, everyone pretends like there was no conceivable precursor to it whatsoever. And they apparently search their memories for one nice thing that was done, such as a baby shower, to exculpate the entire group from any responsibility for the tragedy whatsoever.)

I don’t know — one worker slamming a co-worker’s religion isn’t out of the ordinary? It’s acceptable? If the target is Muslim? It isn’t harassment? It doesn’t create a hostile workplace environment? One’s religion is a federally protected class, such as one’s race, one’s sex and one’s national origin, from workplace discrimination.

Tellingly, methinks, Thalasinos was one of the 14 people killed in the massacre.

*Interestingly, there was yet another apparent case of workplace violence at Fort Hood in April 2014. In this gun massacre, four people, including the shooter, an enlisted soldier named Ivan Lopez, were killed.

Because Lopez was not (to my knowledge) a Muslim, no one, to my knowledge, has asserted that this was “terrorism.”

There has been, I suspect, a problem at Fort Hood of military personnel who aren’t white, “normative” Americans being harassed by those who are.

Continuing to blame the victims of harassment and to pretend that we were wholly innocent in our treatment of them will only ensure that these massacres continue to happen.

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Repugnicans’ silence on domestic terrorist attack is deafening

So here are the booking photos of the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic gunman, one Robert Lewis Dear:

Reuters image

Surprise, surprise.

Here is what Yahoo News reports of Dear’s background:

Authorities have released few details about Robert Lewis Dear, the man identified as the alleged sole shooter in an attack on a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic that left three dead and nine others wounded Friday. But while investigators continue to search for clues to his motive, reporters have started digging into Dear’s past.

According to the Associated Press, 57-year-old Dear split his time between a house in Swannanoa, N.C., and a remote cabin without electricity or running water in Black Mountain, about 15 miles outside Asheville, N.C.

Neighbor James Russell told the AP that Dear typically kept to himself and that on the occasions when they did speak, Dear avoided eye contact and rambled about a variety of unrelated topics. However, Russell said, he’d never heard Dear talk about religion or abortion.

The AP also reported that on Saturday, Dear’s cabin was adorned with a cross made of twigs.

Other news outlets have traced Dear’s roots back to South Carolina, where police records indicate a history of arrests and domestic and neighbor disputes dating back to the mid-1990s. …

So far, searches for social media profiles and other online activity have yielded little evidence that Dear had much of an Internet presence.

Dear surrendered to police nearly five hours after he’s believed to have opened fire on a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs on Friday. The city’s mayor, John Suthers, said Saturday that while investigators were not ready to discuss a possible motive for the attack — still hoping to glean more information about the gunman and his mental state — people can “make inferences from where it took place.”

Dear is being held without bond at the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center and is expected to appear in court Monday.

Robert Lewis Dear very, very apparently is a head case (a term, like “fucktard,” that I probably shouldn’t use) — I assume that he wasn’t cray-craying it up for his mugshots, and traveling all the way from North Carolina to Colorado to shoot people to death certainly indicates the cray, as does living in a remote cabin without any utilities (a picture of that “cabin” is here) — but I have little doubt that right-wing anti-abortion propaganda set him off.

The wingnuts are insane as it is, but when a certifiably clinically insane individual hears and/or reads and/or sees their insanity, yes, bad things can happen — with which, I surmise, the wingnuts are perfectly OK. (I imagine that yesterday and today, thousands of predominantly white, “Christian” wingnuts have celebrated the news of yet another “abortion clinic”* having been terrorized by one of their own, one of “God’s” “soldiers,” you know. Maybe they even had tailgate parties, just like they falsely claim the “Islamofascists” did here on 9/11.)

If it weren’t the case that Repugnican Tea Party rhetoric encourages domestic terrorism, Yahoo News wouldn’t also be reporting this today (all emphases in bold are mine):

The motive for a shooting that took place outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Friday still isn’t clear, but all three of the top Democratic presidential candidates quickly rushed to express their support for the organization. 

Meanwhile, the leading Republicans, all of whom have spoken out against Planned Parenthood, have largely remained silent about the shooting. 

Operatives from both parties suggested to Yahoo News that the incident puts the GOP field in a tough spot because of its opposition to Planned Parenthood. The organization is the country’s largest provider of abortions.*

Three people were killed in the shooting. One of the victims was a police officer who responded to a call for help. The suspect has been identified as Robert Lewis Dear, who was reportedly captured on the scene in Colorado Springs after surrendering to law enforcement.

According to the Associated Press, Dear had spent part of his time living in a North Carolina shack, and his neighbors described him as an incoherent loner with no known political or religious leanings. However, John Suthers, the Republican mayor of Colorado Springs, suggested people could draw conclusions about a motive for the attack by drawing “inferences from where it took place.” …

The three top Democrats vying to be Obama’s successor all addressed the shooting on Twitter. Both frontrunner Hillary Clinton and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley issued expressions of support for Planned Parenthood. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., took things a step further and suggested anti-abortion rhetoric could have encouraged the attack.

“I strongly support Planned Parenthood and the work it’s doing. I hope people realize that bitter rhetoric can have unintended consequences,” Sanders wrote. [Sanders, as usual, is spot-on, except that I don’t know that those consequences always are unintended. And I’m being serious, not flippant.]

Indeed, all of the leading Republican candidates have expressed opposition to Planned Parenthood. And almost none of them have made any public comment on the shooting.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is the only major Republican presidential hopeful who has tweeted about the incident.

“Praying for the loved ones of those killed, those injured & first responders who bravely got the situation under control in Colorado Springs,” Cruz wrote.

Yahoo News reached out to the campaigns of all of the other leading Republicans to see if they had any comment on the shootings. As of this writing, Anna Epstein, a spokeswoman for businesswoman Carly Fiorina was the only one to respond.

“Carly will be on Fox News Sunday tomorrow, and she’ll likely react then,” Epstein said.

There was no comment on the shooting from representatives for real estate mogul Donald Trump, former neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., or New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

All nine of these Republicans have spoken out against Planned Parenthood and expressed support for taking federal funding from the organization. Cruz has led a congressional push to defund Planned Parenthood by threatening a government shutdown.

A Democratic operative who works in Colorado told Yahoo News [he or she believes] the shooting will hurt the GOP field because it “reminds voters of the relentless Republican campaign against women’s health and the right to choose.” [He or she] also suggested the shooting would highlight Republican opposition to gun control.

In messages to Yahoo News, Amanda Carpenter, a Republican strategist and former top aide to Cruz, acknowledged that the shooting could be “politically uncomfortable” for GOP candidates because they oppose Planned Parenthood and also abhor the violent shooting. Carpenter suggested that the candidates should have followed Cruz’s example and commented on the shooting regardless of their stance on abortion.

“Candidates can choose to avoid commenting on crisis, but a president cannot,” Carpenter said. “While it’s prudent to wait for all information, GOP candidates should easily be able to express sorrow, whether this situation is politically uncomfortable or not.”

Carpenter went on to describe the silence in the Republican field as “sad.”

“This event happened 24 hours ago, and lives were lost. It’s sad more candidates can’t show their support for those in mourning. Republicans can disagree with what [Planned Parenthood] does and grieve for those injured and killed,” she said. “Being pro-life means opposing murder, period. Law enforcement lives are at risk each day, as shown in Colorado yesterday. They need our support more than ever, and the GOP should not hesitate to give it.”

Wow, is Ted Cruz a weasel-snake, pretending to actually give a shit about yesterday’s domestic terrorist attack and even trying to use his statement on it to give himself a leg up on his opponents within his party. No, he’s just trying to cover his precious political ass because, as Yahoo News noted, “Cruz has led a congressional push to defund Planned Parenthood by threatening a government shutdown.” Anti-Planned-Parenthood rhetoric just like Ted Cruz’s very most likely caused yesterday’s domestic terrorist attack.

It perhaps was politically astute of Cruz to (try to) politically get ahead of it, but his sincerity is less than zero.

Not only is the Repugnican Tea Party against Planned Parenthood and women’s constitutional, human right to control their own bodies, but the Repugnican Tea Party obediently supports the National Rifle Association. Robert Lewis Dear, who just might be a card-carrying member of the NRA himself, used a rifle in his terrorist attack.

And note that Cruz’s spokesweasel mentioned “law enforcement lives,” but not the lives of, say, any visitor to or employee of the Planned Parenthood clinic. Because to the neo-Nazis like Ted Cruz and his followers, the lives of those in the military and in quasi-military law enforcement are far more important than are any other lives, especially non-white-male, non-right-wing/non-Repugnican-Tea-Party, non-“Christian” lives.

So Cruz (via his spokessnake) managed to pretend to give a shit about the domestic terrorist attack that his demagoguery only encourages while at the same time blowing that dog whistle hard, noting that abortion is “murder” and singling out for special grief only the lost life of the law enforcement officer whom Robert Lewis Dear gunned down yesterday most likely because of his exposure to right-wing rhetoric.

*Initial news reports about yesterday’s terrorist attack on the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs really incensed me, because they referred to the clinic as an “abortion clinic.”

FactCheck.org reports: “Abortions represent 3 percent of total services provided by Planned Parenthood, and roughly 10 percent of its clients received an abortion. The group does receive federal funding, but the money cannot be used for abortions by law.” (I’m not sure what “roughly 10 percent of its clients received an abortion” means. Does that mean that 10 percent of Planned Parenthood’s clients at some time have received an abortion through Planned Parenthood, or that they have had an abortion at any time in their lives, provided by any provider?)

FactCheck.org also gives this graphic:

But even though only 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services are “abortion services,” the fact remains that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled decades ago that the U.S. Constitution grants women the constitutional right to an abortion (with some restrictions).

Even if more than half of Planned Parenthood’s services were “abortion services,” there is nothing to argue about. Planned Parenthood is acting well within U.S. law, and those who oppose Planned Parenthood’s operation therefore are lawless — and, in my book, treasonous. The U.S. Supreme Court has spoken on this matter, backed by the U.S. Constitution. Period.

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Only Prick Santorum thinks that he should continue his quest

Karen Santorum, wife of Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, center, talks to supporters as Santorum signs autographs during a campaign rally in Hudson, Wis., Friday, March 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Associated Press photo

No, wait — his wife (pictured with him above in Wisconsin on Friday) also thinks that he should keep going because it would be so cool to be first lady! So that’s two people.

Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabe Prick Santorum won’t stop wailing and whining that it’s a great fucking idea for him to continue his impossible quest for his party’s 2012 presidential nomination, even all the way to the party’s convention in August.

In Wisconsin, where Prick will lose to Mittens Romney tomorrow, Prick proclaimed today: “I think it would be a fascinating display of open democracy, and I think it would be an energizing thing for our party to have a candidate emerge who’s a who isn’t the blessed candidate of the Republican establishment. I think that’s a good thing; it’s a good narrative for us. It makes this election a short election; the shorter this election in the fall, the better off we are, not the worse.”

I’m not sure exactly what Prick means by “the shorter this election in the fall, the better off we are.” Does he mean that if Mittens is declared the party’s 2012 candidate sooner rather than later, all of the additional time and attention focused exclusively upon Mittens will induce Mittens to lose in November? Does Prick even mean that the least amount of time and attention focused exclusively upon him, the better?

In any event, the Repugnican Tea Party candidate, whoever it is (but who very most likely will be Mittens), most likely will lose to incumbent Barack Obama anyway. While I suppose that it’s not absolutely impossible for the wooden, milquetoast multi-millionaire Mittens to somehow pull off a victory in November, I certainly can’t see Americans chosing Prick Santorum over Barack Obama.

(Indeed, recent nationwide polls* have shown Obama with a 2 percent to even an 11 percent lead over Mittens in a hypothetical matchup, but with a 5 percent to 14 percent lead over Prick.)

It was Prick Santorum’s having led the charge against women’s access not only to abortion (a right guaranteed to them in 1973 by the U.S. Supreme Court Roe vs. Wade), but also to birth control, for fuck’s sake, that no doubt has decimated women’s support of the Repugnican Tea Party presidential ticket in the crucial swing states.

Reports Yahoo! News today:

Female voters in battleground states are rallying around President [Barack] Obama in droves, according to a new USA Today/Gallup poll released [today], suggesting a gender gap could pose one of the Republicans’ biggest challenges in this fall’s general election race.

Obama led Mitt Romney by 18 percentage points among female registered voters in the nation’s top 12 swing states. The gender gap between Obama and Rick Santorum was 15 points. USA Today reports that this is the “first significant lead” the president has held in these key voting states.

Those leads represent big gains for the president, compared to previous swing state polls conducted by USA Today/Gallup, according to USA Today:

The biggest change came among women under 50. In mid-February, just under half of those voters supported Obama. Now more than six in 10 do while Romney’s support among them has dropped by 14 points, to 30 percent. The president leads him 2-1 in this group.

Recent Quinnipiac University polls conducted in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania bore out similar results. Female voters supported the president over Romney or Santorum by 6 to 19 percentage points in these three states.

Democrats are likely to use these poll numbers to fuel their argument that the Republicans are alienating female voters this cycle by focusing on women’s issues, something which is also likely to shape Democratic voter outreach efforts.

Democrats have branded congressional Republicans’ coordinated opposition to free birth control this year as well as Romney’s stated pledge to end Planned Parenthood as key actions in the Republican party’s “war on women.” (The party also lumps in conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh’s verbal attacks on Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke.) …

Attacking women’s right to use contraception was a huge fucking blunder that the incredibly fucktarded Prick Santorum primarily pushed. Mittens, who probably never would have broached the topic of contraception on his own, apparently didn’t want to be out-wingnutted by Prick and so he jumped onto the anti-birth-control bandwagon, and then when Grand Dragon Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” for having promoted women’s right to access to birth control, the branding of the Repugnican Tea Party as the party against women’s right to access to birth control, for fuck’s sake, became cemented.

Prick Santorum, with his backasswards, “Christo”fascist, papal proclamations — with his far-right-wing worldview in which only staunchly conservative, white, (presumedly) heterosexual, “Christian” males have any rights and have the lion’s share of all of the power — already has damaged his party for the November 2012 presidential election, probably irrevocably so, yet Prick argues that the best thing for his party is for him to remain in the race for as long as possible.

Prick-friendly or potentially Prick-friendly states (Indiana, North Carolina and West Virginia) aren’t on the primary election calendar until next month, however, while Mittens should win Wisconsin tomorrow and five Northeastern states (including New York) plus the District of Columbia tomorrow and later this month, and if Prick loses his home state of Pennsylvania to Mittens on April 24, I don’t expect Prick to fight on even into next month.

There’s all of that and the fact that according to the latest Gallup daily tracking poll, Mittens now leads Prick 43 percent to 25 percent among the members of their party nationwide. That 43 percent is Mittens’ highest showing ever in the daily tracking poll in this election cycle, and Prick peaked in the daily tracking poll way back in mid-February, when the highest that he polled was 36 percent.

Prick has said that he’d be happy to be Mittens’ running mate — indeed, after having lost his last election (his 2006 re-election bid to the U.S. Senate for Pennsylvania) by a whopping 18 percentage points, being even vice president would be a big step up for Prick — but after the damage that Prick has caused Mittens, not only with the women’s vote but with his “Etch-A-Sketch” bullshit, I don’t expect Mittens to pick Prick, who pretty much is the male Sarah Palin. (I expect Mittens to try to appeal to the Latino vote and to the youth vote by picking the obnoxious Marco Rubio, U.S. Senator for Florida, who, like many if not most of his fellow Cuban Americans, has sold out to right-wing whites.)

The chance of an incredibly stupid, “Christo”fascist, Pope-Palpatine-ass-licker like Prick Santorum being only a heartbeat away from the presidency, however, probably would be enough to induce me to hold my nose and to give President Hopey-Changey some money and maybe even my vote.

*By “recent” I refer to the five nationwide polls posted on pollingreport.com that were taken between March 10 and March 26. Anything older than this, in my book, isn’t recent. The average of these five polls shows Obama 6.2 percent ahead of Mittens and 10.4 percent ahead of Prick. November is, at least today, looking pretty good for Obama.

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The wingnuts’ very bad day

Updated below (Wednesday, February 8, 2012)

Wow.

So the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled that Proposition 8 — the anti-same-sex-marriage measure that passed by a small majority in California in November 2008 after a hateful, lie-filled campaign by the right (financed largely by the Mormon cult and the Catholick church) — violates the freedoms guaranteed to Californians by the U.S. Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment, a.k.a. the Equal Protection Clause.*

Sure, the case will go to the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court, but even if the current right-leaning U.S. Supreme Court rules that banning same-sex marriage is not unconstitutional, the composition of the court will change over time, and one day same-sex marriage will be legal in all 50 states.

These things take time — it wasn’t until 1967 that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in Loving vs. Virginia, that no state may outlaw mixed-race marriage.

And it was in 2003 that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Lawrence vs. Texas that, per Wikipedia, “private sexual conduct is protected by the liberty rights implicit in the due process clause of the United States Constitution.” Yet it was just in 1986 that the same court had upheld “sodomy” laws in Bowers vs. Hardwick. The court reverses itself all the time.

Also today, anti-choice wingnut Karen Handel resigned from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation after the foundation took well-deserved truckloads of shit for having decided to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood — a decision that Handel denies that as the Komen foundation’s vice president for public policy she influenced, but that insiders say of course she did.

Before she went to the Komen foundation, the Repugnican Tea Party’s Handel had run for governor of Georgia in 2010 on an anti-choice platform (never mind that the issue of a woman’s right to an abortion was settled waaay back in 1973 with Roe vs. Wade) and had received the endorsement of fellow wingnut and misogynist Sarah Palin.

Today is a great victory for women and for non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals.

The treasonous, ignorant and hate-filled wingnuts among us hate the ideas of equality, of liberty, justice and freedom for all, but the ideals of equality, of liberty, justice and freedom for all — and not just for the oppressive wingnuts — march on nonetheless.

*The Fourteenth Amendment reads, in part: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Updated (Wednesday, February 8, 2012):

Wow. Yesterday also was a bad day for the wingnuts because the utterly unelectable Prick Santorum came in at first place in all three Repugnican Tea Party presidential primary contests yesterday in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri. Gilded Boy Mitt Romney came in at second place in Colorado and Missouri and third place in Minnesota.

A protracted Repugnican Tea Party presidential primary fight can only help Barack Obama. Indeed, the media have been reporting that Obama’s favorability ratings are up, and that the latest polls have him beating all of the Repugnican Tea Party presidential contenders in hypothetical matchups.

Again, yesterday was a pretty bad day to be a wingnut.

P.S. Prick Santorum’s attacks against Obama are pretty fucking hilarious, such as this one: “He [Obama] believes he’s the smartest guy in the country and he should tell people what to believe and how to live their lives.”

Yet it’s the Catholick Prick Santorum and his “Christo”fascistic cohorts who want to ban abortion — and perhaps even contraception — and decide who may and may not get married, and otherwise cram their backasswards, patriarchal, misognyist, homophobic, xenophobic, anti-science worldview down our throats.

But nooooo, it’s Barack Obama who wants to “tell people what to believe and how to live their lives.”

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Why this gay man supports Planned Parenthood

On the surface, I suppose, I, as a gay man, have the least reason of any demographic group to support Planned Parenthood.

I don’t have to worry about experiencing an unplanned pregnancy because I’m not a woman. I don’t have to worry (very much at all) about accidentally impregnating a woman because I prefer members of my own sex. I don’t have to worry about contracting breast cancer. (Very probably.)

But I clearly see that we’re all connected, and that a right-wing attack on one of us is a right-wing attack on all of us.

That, and let’s face it: the right-wing hatred of women and the right-wing oppression of women overlaps with the right-wing hatred and the right-wing oppression of gay men. The patriarchal right wing values males and male heterosexuality and the masculine, and devalues females (regardless of their sexual orientation) and devalues gay men, because gay men, to the right wing, are part of the feminine that must be subjugated (indeed, in some cases, even, destroyed).

So whenever Planned Parenthood comes under attack by the misogynists, be they female-hating men or self-hating women, whether it be an attack by the self-loathing women who “lead” the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation or an attack by the women-hating stupid white men of the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party who for now control the U.S. House of Representatives, I give Planned Parenthood another donation, usually of at least $20 or $25.

Seriously: These right-wing attacks on Planned Parenthood must be great business for PP. (Similarly, when National Public Radio and/or Public Broadcasting Service come under attack from the right wing, I give them donations, too.)

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation sure made a serious misstep by deciding to side with the right wing and fuck over Planned Parenthood. I have given to the Komen foundation at least once before, but I very most likely never will again. I would not be surprised if the foundation folds. (Indeed, it should, and others should assume the work of battling breast cancer.) You can’t say that you are for women and women’s rights but that you are against Planned Parenthood.

I also support Planned Parenthood because overpopulation harms all of us, regardless of our sex or sexual orientation.

Parenting experts have concluded that gay men and lesbians as a group probably make better parents than many if not most heterosexual couples because, among other reasons, same-sex couples who become parents obviously want to be parents, while about half of pregnancies that occur within heterosexual couplings are accidental. (What percentage of those unwanted pregnancies are terminated, I am not certain.)

For all of the societal ills of which gay men and lesbians (and other non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals) are (most often wrongfully) accused, the one thing that we are not guilty of is contributing to overpopulation and its many attendant problems, which include the depletion of the planet’s natural resources from increased human consumption of those resources, increased pollution from human activity (and increased global warming, of course), and the more immediately obvious sufferings that overpopulation causes, such as hunger, poverty, poverty-related crime, and the fact that there is a serious “quality-control” issue when more human beings are produced than can be adequately cared for, which includes not only meeting their physiological needs, but meeting their psychospiritual needs as well. (Indeed, humankind, despite what so many awful heterosexual parents appear to believe, does not live by bread alone.)

It’s ironic — one of the most shit-and-pissed-upon groups of people on the planet (non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals) probably are the ones best equipped to save it.

In the meantime, I continue to support Planned Parenthood, which is at least decreasing the amount of damage that those who (easily can) take their reproductive ability for granted are doing to all of us.

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Obama sells us farther down the river

US lawmakers reach deal to avert govt shutdown

Reuters photo

Barack Obama last night hailed the largest, non-military (of course) federal budget cut in U.S. history as a “compromise” (and not a cave-in) and said he hopes for more “compromises” with the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in the future. Goddess save this nation from Barack Obama’s “common-sense” “compromises.”

In December, Barack Obama reneged on his campaign pledge not to extend the unelected Bush regime’s tax cuts for the rich and the super-rich. Last night, Obama caved in to $38.5 billion in federal budget cuts demanded by the Repugnican Tea Party and then announced it as a victory for bipartisanship.

Which side is Barack Obama on?

(That’s a rhetorical question. He always has been, and always will be, on his own side.)

The consensus the morning after is that in the budget fight, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, as usual, won. Reports The Associated Press:

Washington – Republican conservatives were the chief winners in the budget deal that forced Democrats to accept historic spending cuts they strongly opposed.

Emboldened by last fall’s election victories, fiscal conservatives have changed the debate in Washington. The question no longer is whether to cut spending, but how deeply. Rarely mentioned is the idea of higher taxes to lower the deficit.

Their success is all the more notable because Democrats control the Senate and White House.

But more difficult decisions lie ahead, and it’s not clear whether GOP lawmakers can rely on their winning formula. They pushed Democrats to the brink, then gave in just enough to claim impressive achievements, rather than holding the line and triggering a government shutdown that might have yielded far less politically.

The GOP victories came on spending. Their concessions dealt mainly with social issues, where they tried to limit abortions and restrict environmental rules.

House Republicans who care intensely about such social issues may fight harder next time, giving Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, fewer bargaining chips to appease Democrats. Tea party Republicans, some of whom found the cuts too small in [last night’s] last-minute agreement, might insist on deeper ones from now on. …

The Repugnican Tea Party traitors in Congress know what they want and they go after it, viciously. They are undaunted by the fact that the Democratic Party controls the White House and the U.S. Senate, and they pay “bipartisanship” lip service, only when they are trying to get what they want. The Democrats, on the other hand, are all too happy to give away the store in the name of “bipartisanship,” even though the other side never acts in true bipartisan spirit.

Even when the Democrats were in control of the White House and both houses of Congress in 2009 and 2010, they were too timid to spend their political capital, and now that opportunity is lost. It would not have been lost in November 2010 had they actually found their testicles that the voters had handed to them and spent their fucking political capital. But no one respects cowards, and people don’t tend to vote for people whom they don’t respect.

This is a long-standing fucking pattern with the Democratic Party.

We got “President” George W. Bush because in late 2000 Democrat Al Gore was too pussy to fight for the White House that he had won. Gore was too above it all to fight, and in the name of his “bipartisanship,” the nation suffered eight long nightmarish years of the unelected Bush regime. (But Ralph Nader, not Al Gore, still gets the brunt of the blame for this.)

In the name of “bipartisanship” under Obama, the rich and the super-rich got their BushCheneyCorp-era tax cuts extended, and the social Darwinist right wing is realizing its long-standing wet dream of shrinking the federal government down to the size that it can be drowned in the bathtub, so that corporations have no restraints on their treasonous, anti-people, anti-planet profiteering whatsofuckingever.

Barack Obama should be a blockade on the right-wing road to totally wiping out the middle class and the working class, but all that he has done thus far is to present a few “bipartisan” speed bumps.

But trust him, ye ignorant, mere mortal! He has A Plan!

No, he doesn’t. Well, yes, he does: his plan is to continue to sell us out — because we let him.

While Obama can’t be bothered to put up a fight, the right wing incrementally moves the boundaries that increasingly squeeze the working and the middle classes and ensure that the rich get richer while the poor get poorer.

The Repugnican Tea Party traitors made ridiculous demands in their federal budget plan, such as defunding Planned Parenthood and defanging the Environmental Protection Agency. They probably never expected to actually get these things, and while the Democrats successfully fought back against those ridiculous demands, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors still got a $38.5 billion budget cut.

According to the AP,

Boehner, a skilled legislator, spent weeks talking with House conservatives who insisted on $61 billion in current-year spending cuts. That was the pro-rated remainder of conservatives’ campaign pledge to cut $100 billion in the 2011 budget year, now half over.

Democrats complained bitterly about the first $10 billion in cuts, but eventually said they could not go above $33 billion. The final deal calls for $38.5 billion in cuts.

Boehner and his lieutenants repeatedly told the adamant budget-cutters, some of them new to public office, that they were getting a good deal. A short time ago, he told them, Democrats would not have considered anything approaching $40 billion. Take your victory and get ready for the next fight, he urged them.

Isn’t that what you do in cut-throat negotiations: Always demand much more than you ever actually expect to get (such as $61 billion), so that what you actually do get ($38.5 billion) is still significantly more than what you should get?

And how tough are the Democrats when they claim that they won’t go above $33 billion but then agree to $38.5 billion?

The Democrats should have stuck to their guns for once and allowed the Repugnican Tea Party traitors to shut down the federal government. Instead, as usual, they caved and they put the Repugnican Tea Party traitors further along their path not to our prosperity, but to our complete and total serfdom to our corporate masters.

And this when Barack Obama is telling us that we should re-elect him so that he can finish what he started.

God save us if Obama finishes what he started.

Our only hope at this point is a strong 2012 primary challenge to DINO Barack Obama.

Howard Dean, where are you? Russ Feingold? Hell — Dennis Kucinich?

Someone, anyone with balls — hell, even if she has ovaries.

Just not Barack Obama for 2012. With “friends” like him “on our side,” who needs the Repugnican Tea Party?

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