Oh well, I’m still fired up from this weekend’s activities…specifically, from the St. Louis Walk for Choice event that happened Saturday.
Last week I noticed a ton of messages posted about Walk for Choice events in cities all over the country. I kept hoping to see St. Louis on the map, but as of Wednesday it wasn’t there. This bitch was exhausted from a week spent preparing to lobby, lobbying, and then preparing for and participating in a town hall meeting.
I just couldn’t rustle up the energy to even think about pulling a walk together my damn self.
But I didn’t have to…
…because a first time organizer stepped up and pulled the St. Louis Walk for Choice together for all of us!
When I saw the message that St. Louis was walking Saturday I damn near cried.
And when I showed up at MoKaBe’s Saturday morning and met the fantabulous organizer and my fellow walkers…well, I got a much needed emotional boost.
It wasn’t a huge group, but we lacked in numbers we made up for in enthusiasm. We were welcomed along the way by folks blasting their horns in support and waving their fists through car windows.
After we were done I drove home and let it all sink in.
Regular folks from my community came together to show their support for their community health care provider…to shout their outrage over the proposed cuts to proven programs that serve the people…and to be encouraged knowing that they are not alone.
I needed the hell out of that.
Many thanks to the organizers who put the walk together and to my fellow St. Louisans who came out and walked the walk!
A certain Anonymous…the good kind, not the bad kind…asked why I have not weighed in on the movement in Wisconsin to defend worker’s rights against the union busting greed of The Man.
Good question…and I’ve got an answer.
I stand in solidarity with the workers and students in Wisconsin. My sister was born in Madison, so I’ve got a soft spot for that town…and I come from a union family, so I was raised on a steady diet of “united we bargain, divided we beg.”
I’m tardy in posting on this subject because I’ve been soaking up the inspiration.
Sometimes I just need to witness a happening...and Gawd knows I needed to this time.
Last week, I was beyond low. They call it a struggle for a reason and sometimes the relentless siege against justice just plain weighs on me.
I woke up one morning last week and I just didn’t think anything I was doing as an activist made a difference...
…and then I clicked on the television and saw a sea of workers organized to defend their rights in Wisconsin.
And I’ve been soaking up the energy.
I’ve listened as workers sang the national anthem in the hall of their state government.
I watched as the people spoke truth to those elected to serve them.
Sometimes social justice work can feel so lonely…even a bitch needs something to hold on to!
Trust that I am inspired…refueled…fired up and ready to dive back in because of the movement work happening in Wisconsin and other states.
And I’ve been reminded of that truth that I was raised on but somehow lost sight of for a minute… this isn’t about what I can or can’t do on my own.
This is about what we can do that together.
To the workers in Wisconsin and Ohio and across this nation, thank you for your inspiration and activism.
Several of the bitchitude faithful have asked for my thoughts on Rush Limbaugh’s latest verbal malfunction concerning Michelle Obama, her recent meal of short ribs, and her figure.
Lawd, I shudder to think what the rest of the world must think of us.
On Limbaugh in general...the man is a rather typical loud mouthed bigot who is most likely covering up a lifetime of self-hate and insecurity by lashing out at all who make him hate himself and feel insecure.
The thing to keep in mind is that Limbaugh craves the criticism as much as he seeks the praise. He’s a lot like the Anonymouses who try to comment here and link back to some racist post because being a racist without inciting outrage is to fail at the ultimate goal of being a rancid racist. Limbaugh’s hustle demands that outrage…he’s only as popular with his base as he is despised by the rest of us.
Having said that, his crusade against Michelle Obama is a new low. I’d be concerned, but his listeners were already anti-Obama and his attacks serve only to make him look like a schoolyard bully. For most people, this latest bullshit will come off as distasteful and serve only to enhance Michelle Obama’s popularity. Since it appears that the First Lady is dealing with Limbaugh’s public display of no home training with grace and intelligence, I’m betting that she knows that.
On the route some take to criticize Limbaugh…we need to check ourselves before we wreck ourselves.
Rush Limbaugh is a rancid knave…gleefully ignorant and stunningly crass…wretched in his lack of home training…
…but none of that is due to the size of his ass.
Catch thy knee!
I know and you know that I know that you know that it is hard as hell to listen to someone who is far from fine criticize how someone else looks.
But far too many people have taken a dive into the same toxic pool Limbaugh swims in.
This isn’t about taking the high road and giving Limbaugh a pass.
This is about taking the right road, leading by example, and critiquing the fool for his foolishness.
Or better yet, giving him the silence he fears…and letting his words hang in the air like a stankified fart in a humid room.
Many thanks for all the fantabulous birthday wishes!
Let’s jump right on in.
I went to Jefferson City yesterday to get my lobby on in support of legislation that would put prevention first and establish programs that prevent unplanned pregnancies, protect the rights of consumers at pharmacies, and return comprehensive sex education to Missouri schools.
Background – I’ve told y’all that, in many ways, Missouri is still fighting the Civil War. Well, during the Civil War the Missouri legislature took control of the St. Louis city police department away for fear that the pro-Union city would muster against the pro-Confederate mid-Missouri region. State government has controlled the police department since then…and they get to make decisions on behalf of the city with limited input from the city. The city has been trying to get control back for years, but they face opposition from the police who fear the city would not protect their pensions…and from Missouri lawmakers who apparently fear that the city of St. Louis could still get our muster on against the pro-Confederate mid-Missouri region.
Anyhoo, the House was voting on a bill to restore local control of the police to St. Louis city and, well...I found myself more than a little jealous of the city of St. Louis.
And the chorus asked… “What the hell are you talking about, Fu? Why would you be jealous of St. Louis city?”
And a bitch replied… “I’m so glad you asked!!”
This bitch is more than a little jealous of the city of St. Louis because I’ve witnessed more passion, support, and firedupedness from legislators and residents for the right of the city to make decisions on its own behalf than I see from those same people for the right of women to do the same motherfucking thing!
The argument, in many ways, is the same – that it is insulting for the state to say the city is incapable of making decisions about the police, that it is inefficient and illogical for folks who don’t have to deal with the ramifications of decisions to have the power to make those decisions, and that the city knows what is best for its damn self.
And yet…that’s exactly what those same members do on a regular basis regarding women’s healthcare, access to birth control, and access to the full range of reproductive health care services.
Yesterday the Missouri House voted overwhelmingly to restore local control of the St. Louis city police department to St. Louis city…with a veto-proof majority that sends a strong message to Governor Nixon and the Missouri Senate.
Would that the people of Missouri could say the same about legislation filed to restore comprehensive sex education to our schools, protect consumers who seek to fill prescriptions for contraceptives at pharmacies, and protect access to reproductive health care.
I wrote around 10 posts this weekend…all of them so full of venomous rage that they were unfit to publish, but at least they served to help me work through my emotions.
I find rage unproductive.
Anger, on the other hand, is a proper fuel.
Several friends called to ask me what the hell is going on in the federal government regarding women’s health. I found myself getting all wonkish in my explanation and realized that lots of everyday folks don’t speak government.
So, the House budget eliminates funding that allows health care providers to dispense low-cost prevention based services to low-income people.
For every $1 of public funding spent on prevention services…contraception, testing and education, and life saving cancer screenings…we the tax paying people save around $4. Public funding of prevention services prevents 1.94 million unplanned pregnancies and 810,000 abortions each year. That math comes from the fact that for more than 9 in 10 women receiving services through publicly funded programs would be eligible for Medicaid- funded pre-natal, delivery and postpartum services.
Preventing unplanned pregnancies = preventing the cost of unplanned pregnancies. Preventing sexually transmitted diseases = preventing the cost of testing and treating sexually transmitted diseases. Early detection of cancer through yearly exams = more lives saved and less money spent to save those lives.
The GOP controlled House has proposed a budget that will ultimately cost tax payers money, benefits no one, and eliminates funding for a program that is worthy of increased funding given our current economic crisis.
The elimination of family planning funding from the budget proposed by the House impacts all providers who receive those funds.
The House also passed a bill that would specifically ban Planned Parenthood from receiving those funds.
The bill that would defund Planned Parenthood is vendetta legislation…and it is a very real threat to the community health care provider most likely to be there and provide those prevention services I talked about earlier.
Now all this shit heads to the Senate.
Do not fall for the bullshit that it's a sure thing that the Senate will kill it – if the last year has taught us anything it is that nothing is certain, we must be voracious in our defense of family planning services, and those who claim to be fiscally conservative wouldn’t know good public policy if is jumped up and kicked them in the ass.
Last week the House demonstrated that they are unfit to govern in the best interest of the people…that they are willing to pass bad legislation to pander to the most wretched among their base rather than stand up for programs that work, serve the people, and save tax payers money.
We must not let this legislative insanity spread to the Senate!
Anti-choice members took to the floor with lies and inaccurate information about Planned Parenthood in an attempt to justify legislation that would defund the healthcare provider’s Title X funding.
Pro-choice champions took to the floor and kept it real – defunding Planned Parenthood would prevent the delivery of life saving cancer screenings, STI and HIV/AIDS testing, and contraception and counseling services.
Trying to defund Planned Parenthood benefits no one, helps no one, and serves no one.
Actually doing it would have a devastating impact on communities across America.
I watched and listened as those elected to represent the people used the people’s time to pander to the far right and…well, it made me mad as hell.
This is about politicians playing political games with people’s lives.
I don’t have to live there to be disgusted with this legislative malfunction.
House Bill 1171 is a threat to abortion providers…and that’s a threat to us all.
Catch that knee!
When a legislator files a fatwa dressed up as legislation, we’re all in a mess of trouble…it makes little difference that this is a state bill filed in South Dakota. This rancid piece of shit...an insult to the legislative process...is set to be debated on the floor. That means that something that shouldn’t have been drafted in the first place if the legislator behind it had an ounce of decency made it out of committee…that other South Dakota legislators read that mess and thought “what the hell, sounds like a good idea to me!”
I note that this legislation has been proposed just a couple of years after an abortion provider was executed while attending church in Kansas.
This is not a case of blissful ignorance over what people may try to do if given legal justification.
This is a case of South Dakota’s lawmakers knowing that people are willing and able to murder doctors because they disagree with the health care they dispense…that they know that and deciding that they should double down on and provide legal coverage.
Something wretched is brewing in The Middle and trust that the message of justifiable homicide will not be contained to South Dakota.
A threat to access to reproductive healthcare in one state is a threat to access everywhere...and a threat to those who provide reproductive health care has implications for everyone everywhere.
When I get emails from readers in the UK asking whether it is safe or worth it to be a reproductive justice activist in a region where legislators publicly ponder legalizing the murder of abortion providers…well, we’ve crossed a line that makes our state houses look more like gatherings of the Taliban.
And I use “we” deliberately…what legislators do in our name we own too.
I do not live in South Dakota.
But I don’t have to live there to be disgusted by this legislative malfunction…
…or to endure the ramifications sure to come when state government authorizes murder under the banner of protecting life.
To their credit, voters in South Dakota have corrected anti-choice legislative rancidity before.
I sincerely hope they aren't called on to do so again.
But if they are I've got their back.
Because a threat to access to reproductive healthcare for one is a threat to us all.
***logs off disgusted that legislators are wasting the people's time with this shit when there are real problems they should be addressing***
After weeks of watching the Missouri Legislature do everything but address the economy, Missourians now have a clear view of how the Republicans in charge plan to get their stimulus on.
Behold SB222…introduced by a contender for Most Wretched Missouri Legislator of the Year, Senator Jane Cunningham (R-Chesterfield).
I’m guessing that Cunningham, ever a faithful minion, consulted Satan prior to filing this shit.
Mmmmh, and the consultation probably went something like this…
JC - “Are you there, Satan? It’s me, Jane!”
Satan - “Jane! What’s up, girl? I haven’t talked to you in a month of Sundays.”
JC – “You need to stop!" laughs breathlessly "I’m cool…chillin’ here in Chesterfield and trying to figure out how best to serve you.”
Satan – “What’s on your mind?”
JC – “Well, I recently watched Oliver Twist on television. I’ve got to tell you, Satan – child labor was some of your best work! It kept the wretched little fuckers off the street, increased available labor, and made discussions of public school education ridiculous. Why pay to educate children when we should be putting them to work, right? I love it!”
Satan – “Stop…you’re making me blush and that’s not easy for a crimson-faced demon lord to do!”
JC – “Well, it’s true! Darling, I’m planning to introduce a bill that would roll back some of the pesky laws protecting children from ending up in a workhouse. I just wanted to make sure that would please you. I live to make you happy…my legislative biography speaks to that, big time!”
Satan – “OMG, go for it! I love it! Best Valentine’s Day gift evah!”
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”
President Obama has presented a budget that slashes spending all over the place…and still doesn’t balance the federal budget.
The GOP is crying foul and will sure as shit produce their own budget proposal that will eliminate all kinds of important shit, shit that’s more important now that we’re in a state of economic fubarity than ever...but they won't balance that motherfucker either.
Here's the thing - we can cut programs and eliminate spending until we balance the federal budget.
Oh yes we can!
And since government has sworn to avoid tax equality like the plague (Gawd, forbid the rich pay the same percent in taxes as the masses!!), balancing the budget will mean eliminating spending without any increase in revenue.
A bitch has seen this before. Hell, I faced it my first year out of college! I had a job…income was coming on in…and I had expenses, so income was walking right back out the fucking door. I sat down and realized that I had more going out than coming in. The logical conclusion was to cut spending…but the problem was that my spending was on needed things like food, rent and transportation.
I worked the problem. If I skipped lunch and ate watered down soup for dinner, I could break even. Better yet, who needs soup? Fuck it! I could get by on crackers and cheese …not.
Like many young workers I was faced with the reality that I needed to make more money. Slashing unnecessary spending is a good logical thing to do, but at a certain point…when all unnecessary spending has been slashed and all that’s left is necessary shit like food, shit that makes it possible for a body to get up and go to work in the first damn place…at that point motherfuckers need to start bringing more funds in.
That’s a lesson many of us learned when we first entered the work force…
…and that’s the lesson government rejects every single time they sit down at the table to balance the budget.
Back to our unbalanced budget!
Let's toss in the delicate politics of trying to balancing the budget when some of the largest expenditures are to those popular as hell programs like Medicare and Social Security and…well, shit.
What to do...what to do?!?!
Government won’t bring taxes into alignment because a good minion knows better than to bite the hand the feeds it…they don’t want to cut into popular programs…they don’t want to eliminate defense spending…
Good Gawd, our government is a youngin’ straight out of college in denial that it needed to get a second job yesterday!
And fuck it all from heaven to hell and back again, these will be the same assholes whining and keening when we the people fail to get our spend on and put ourselves further into debt when [insert bullshit holiday invented to seduce the masses into spending money we don’t have on shit we don’t need] comes around.
Confession - I kind of wish someone would go ahead and produce an example of what a balanced federal budget would look like if they cut spending on everything but defense, Medicare and Social Security.
Oh come on – dude’s been using his Shake Weight big time!
Hell, he even struck a pose!
Clearly the now former Congressman has some serious body confidence.
Shark-Fu’s final reaction to the Gawker takedown of Republican Congressman Chris Lee…
The threat to traditional man-on-woman sanctified marriage that no one is talking about?
Married people who aren't committed to a traditional man-on-woman sanctified marriage.
I’m betting that the conservative response to this will be to position Gawker as a socialist front for the New Black Panther Party…and to claim that cell phone cameras are a Chinese made tool used by The Muslim Brotherhood to destroy America’s founding traditions.
A bitch has been so busy that I forgot my birthday is in February.
That’s just not right!
Longtime readers know that there’s a story behind the forgetting of my birthday. We celebrated my birthday on the wrong day…the 23rd instead of the 22nd…for the first eleven years of my life. Apparently my parents were distracted by my birth on top of already having two kids in diapers at home and…well, they were close. I didn’t find out my birthday is on the 22nd until I sent away for my social security card and got a look at my birth certificate.
Ain’t that some shit?
And now I’ve gone and almost forgotten my birthday my damn self!
Anyhoo – my birthday is February 22nd.
My blog anniversary is the 10th…I think.
Shit, memory is the first thing to go.
All I want for my birthday is five extra hours in each day…world peace…for the Blues to make the playoffs…and some soul food.
Oh, and it’d be cool if folks could get their volunteer on in my honor!
Now that the dust has settled from the 2010 election…sort of…local, state and federal government are waking up to the reality behind their campaign talking points.
Let the spending cuts and earmark freedom begin!
Lawd, have mercy.
As a political junkie, I cringe when I hear politicians talk about spending cuts.
Catch that knee!
I’m not a spend freak.
I just don’t believe in vague bullshit coated statements about government spending that lack specifics because the wanna-be elected spouting them doesn’t want to get called out for the painful reality within those specifics.
That brings us to the present – the GOP controlled Congress is crunching numbers and preparing to get their cut on. That’s not exactly fun work, so they’re also launching a full on assault on reproductive health care for kicks.
This is the time of year when campaign bullshit becomes legislative reality…and many Americans are fixin’ to find out about the specificity behind spending cuts and earmark bans.
A lot of those projects were pretty damned good and would have created jobs.
Fuck it – earmarks are bad and must end!
Not just bad earmarks…not just some other motherfucker’s earmark…all earmarks, damnit.
No one gives a fuck that earmark bans do not cut spending.
As for shit that does cut spending - nothing is off the table as the GOP sharpens that budget-cutting hatchet.
Well, nothing domestic.
I get a mental image of GOP Congresspeople poised over the heavily sedated body of our national budget, hatchet in hand. They glance anxiously at each other and ponder where to begin…trying to decide which limb they can remove without causing major damage to their ability to retain control of the House and take the Senate in 2012.
The question isn’t if the GOP Congress is going to go after Medicare and Social Security…the question is how they are going to do it and not get the blame for that shit.
I’m left wondering how they expect Americans to settle down and feel confident enough to spend or invest when we’re about to see social programs that help Americans settle down and feel confident enough about the future to spend and invest hacked to death.
I haven’t read Amy Chua’s book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, but I’ve read several reviews and a hell of a lot of reaction-based posts. This bitch usually avoids wading into the Mommy Wars, but something about the back-and-forth critiques of how people mother got me pondering why many people assume that [insert parenting style here] will result in a wonder child or a fucked up mess of a kid.
Kids aren’t topiaries. You can’t just follow the instructions and create an accomplished child.
A lot of times parents fuck up all over the place and their child still turns out okay.
‘Tis true that a lot of messed up adults had messed up childhoods due in large part to fucked up parents…but ‘tis also true that there are a lot of accomplished people who are where they are despite their parents not because of them.
I’m not a mother, so I tend to view this shit from the perspective of having been a child with some messed up parents.
My mother was emotionally unstable and verbally abusive...my father was a lousy husband but a pretty great dad when he was around, which wasn’t often. Together they had some serious academic expectations for their kids and they managed to erect a fabillion trillion family-falling-apart hurdles on our road to academic success. Happiness wasn’t a high priority…but deep down I like to think my parent’s wanted us to be happy even if they didn’t do a lot of shit to make us happy.
If I had a dollar for every time someone told me that I must have an amazing mother because I went to college a year early or won some sort of award, I’d have been able to afford the therapy I needed after escaping my mother’s house.
I used to just smile when people said shit like that, but I realized I was perpetuating a myth. Now I gently correct by saying I was lucky to have a lot of amazing teachers and mentors in my life and they, along with my older sister, get most of the credit for my not being an absolute fucking mess.
I’m not saying that there aren’t some fantabulous mothers out there who have raised well-rounded happy individuals.
There are and they have.
But there are some messed up adults who had loving mothers and there are some accomplished adults who had pretty horrible mothers.
A lot of shit goes into making people who they are, including parenting but not exclusively parenting.
As I ponder the back-and-forth over whether Amy Chua is a good mother or a bad mother and what parenting style is the “right” parenting style, I know one thing to be true – the Mommy Wars will continue.
***logs off to enable bad canine behavior by giving the sorta-beagles bones just because they're cute***
I’ve watched and read…listened and discussed…and I’ve long appreciated the work that journalists do.
As I monitor coverage of the protests in Egypt, I am in awe.
Citizen journalists are getting their story out despite technological shut downs and unchecked violence…professional journalists are on the ground reporting, despite the fact that pro-government thugs are targeting them with violence too.
When I say that the whole world is watching I say so knowing that people are risking their lives to give us news and images documenting events on the ground.
I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge that.
Words cannot express how much I appreciate that.
The whole world is watching thanks to the brave souls in the square…