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The Decline in Abortion

You might not believe it if you listen to conservatives, but the US abortion rate has been declining recently — dropping 14% in the last three years — and now has hit a historic low. The rate is now the lowest it has been since abortion became legal in 1973 (we don’t have a precise idea of the abortion rate before that because, of course, it was illegal).

The obvious question is why. Why are fewer women getting abortions? Is it because some states have passed laws making it more difficult to get abortions? After all, the Texas legislature just introduced a bill that would make receiving or providing an abortion a felony, which if passed (it won’t) would have the added feature of taking away the right to vote from women who get an abortion.

No, that’s not it. The abortion rate has been going down in virtually all states, regardless of whether they have passed anti-abortion laws.

The real reason is because one of the features of Obamacare was that it mandated that health insurance had to cover contraception. It’s simple really: fewer unwanted pregnancies, fewer abortions.

And yet, conservatives hate that mandate, and will almost certainly eliminate it as soon as they can. Which puts conservatives in the hypocritical position of doing something that will dramatically increase the number of abortions in the US.

Some people might say that they aren’t really against abortions, they just want to punish women for having sex. Not men of course, since they just elected a man who brags about sexually assaulting women.


How did this Happen?

Several posts in today’s edition of Electoral Vote try to answer the question of “How did this happen”. Or more directly, how did so many people vote for Donald Trump, especially working-class voters and women, when he appears to be the embodiment of everything they profess to hate. I recommend you give these a read if you are still shaking your head about the election. We can’t win elections if we don’t understand what motivates voters.

In a separate, but related article, the Washington correspondent for the Toronto Star questioned a range of Trump supporters who traveled to DC to attend Trump’s inauguration. In particular, he asked them what they liked about Trump the most, and also what they would change about Trump if they could. Tellingly, the most popular answer to the second question was they would have him stop tweeting so much. Apparently, that is annoying even his most ardent supporters.


Helen Philpot is an Elitist

[From Margaret and Helen. I admit it — I love them.]

Trump has skin thinner than his wife and an ego bigger than my ass.

Margaret, somebody called me an elitist because I think Trump and his supporters are morons. I wasn’t’ quite sure what being an elitist means these days and I am pretty sure most people using that as an insult probably don’t either so I looked it up. After all, I’m just a little ole’ gal born in Georgia and I am not sure I qualify to be an elitist.

Now the Oxford Dictionary says an elitist is someone who supports the view that a society or system should be led by an elite. Well that just begged the question: What is an elite? I got confused at first because evidently an Elite is a size of letter in typewriting, with 12 characters to an inch. Of course, for this particular scenario it also means a select group that is superior in terms of their ability or qualities to the rest of a group or society such as an elite athlete or an elite armed forces. My favorite definition of elite, however, is from Merriam-Webster: the choice part or the best of a class. So I guess I am an elitist after all, because I want the best candidate for the job and I know for damn sure I want an elite President and not this orange man-child who is about to take office.

And I am in good company. They said Meryl Streep was an elitist after her speech at the Golden Globes. You remember, don’t you? That moving speech she gave where she dared to say that we shouldn’t mock the disabled and a free press was vital to our democracy… What an elitist that Meryl is. How dare she make speeches about standing up for the disabled and defending the Constitution! Wait… what’s an elitist again?

You know Margaret, I was feeling lower than a snake’s belly in a ditch after a rain shower about this election. Kellyanne Conway is so good at lying… I mean telling us what is in Donald’s heart. And I thought to myself that maybe I should give the man a break. Maybe Trump deserves a second look. Maybe I should show some respect for the office to which he has been elected. But then I thought, nah he’s a moron and I’m an elitist who doesn’t think a society or a system should ever be led by a moron.

For goodness sakes, he’s not even trying to rise to the occasion. The man is tweeting about national intelligence agencies one minute and Saturday Night Live the next. And shockingly he is paying attention to the latter and ignoring the former. Damn right I’m an elitist because I actually do think society should be run by someone with superior abilities instead of an idiot who can’t prioritize security briefings over comedy sketches.

And he is surrounding himself with idiots too. Are you really telling me that of all the people he could have nominated for Attorney General, he didn’t know even one without racist attitudes? What does that say? Think about it. What does that say about this man? He appointed a known plagiarist to be a senior communications strategist. And then he asked Omarosa to be… actually I don’t know what he asked her to be. But Omarosa for anything? What does that say? And incoming Press Secretary Sean Spicer actually whined to the media, that Saturday Night Live wasn’t being funny, they were being “mean-spirited”. Oh Really? You know what’s mean-spirited, Sean? Mocking a disabled person. You know what else is mean-spirited? Laughing about sexually assaulting women. You know what else is mean-spirited? Suggesting most immigrants from Mexico are rapist and drug dealers. Also, mocking a disabled person. And yes. I know I said that already.

An elite athlete knows how to win a game. An elite army knows how to win a war. An elite President knows how to put down his smart phone and look the nation in the eye and apologize for his inappropriate behavior. Hell. You don’t even have to be elite. You just have to be decent. Decent enough to admit that it was wrong to make fun of the disabled. Admit that it was wrong to have disrespected and then denigrate women that way. Decent enough to tell the American people that you’re not perfect but you’ll strive to be a better president than you were a man. But we don’t have an elite as President-elect. We don’t even have a decent person about to hold the highest office in the land. We have a buffoon, man-child with skin thinner than that size 2 model/pin-up immigrant he’s married to. And even she doesn’t want to live in the same house with him.

Call me an elitist. It’s a badge I will wear proudly. I’d rather be an elitist than the racist, misogynist, mouth-breathers who voted for Trump. That’s right. I said it. I insulted Trump voters and I won’t apologize for it. We all knew what he did and what he said and what he stood for. There was no mistaking what you were voting for. I have no intentions of pulling punches. You people elected a moron and the rest of us “elitists” get to look down our noses and point our fingers and ask you to explain yourselves. Is it OK to make fun of the disabled? Yes or no? Is it OK to sexually assault women? Yes or no? Is it OK to commit fraud? Is it OK to discriminate against minorities? Is it OK to refer to your daughter as a nice piece of ass? Is it OK to vote for someone who did? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you can kiss my elitist ass.

Trump is not my president. I will challenge him at every turn. I will hold him accountable for every ignorant, vapid tweet. I will hold him to the very highest of standards and ridicule him when he comes up short. Why? You ask. How dare I? You say. Because he made fun of a disabled person and that’s all I ever needed to know about Donald J. Trump. I mean it. Really.


Gold Lining

© Jen Sorensen

This is exactly how I feel. Every time I feel like we should give Trump a chance, he does something so stupid or petty or just plain horrible that it scares the shit out of me trying to imagine how we can possibly survive the next four years with anything intact.


Go Allred Go!

From Electoral Vote:

“Be careful what you wish for. You might get it.” In 1996, when Paula Jones sued then-president Bill Clinton for inappropriate sexual conduct, Republicans were rooting that the Supreme Court would rule that no one was above the law, not even the president, and that private citizens could sue the president. They got what they wanted when the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the president could be sued. Jones’ lawyer was George Conway III, the husband of Kellyanne Conway [Trump’s campaign manager and pollster].

Now that precedent is about to come back and hit Donald Trump hard, because yesterday Summer Zervos, a former contestant on “The Apprentice,” sued Trump for defamation. In October she said publicly that he attacked her in a hotel room in 2007. Trump denied that he ever met Zervos in a hotel room and called her a liar. She is suing him for defamation to restore her reputation. Zervos is represented by celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, who has handled many high-profile cases before. Allred is no doubt excited about getting the opportunity to depose Trump under oath, knowing full well that Bill Clinton’s lies under oath in the Paula Jones case were the basis for his impeachment. Just in case anyone doubts what Allred thinks about Trump, she once said to him: “You are nothing but a fourth rate politician and a fifth rate human being …”

I’m really looking forward to hearing how Trump and the Republicans deal with this. Will they claim that the president’s private life is nobody’s business? Will Trump keep attacking Summer Zervos, making her defamation suit even stronger?

The “pussy grabbing” video was bad enough, but it was just talk. These are actions. How will Americans react if they learn that we have elected a sexual predator as president?


Trump’s MLK Weekend

Stephen Colbert shows that you can still get comedy gold from Trump:

Many great quotes from Colbert’s monologue:

Well said. John Lewis is all “talk talk talk”, but a real leader like Trump is all “tweet tweet tweet”.

PT Barnum is famous for saying “There’s a sucker born every minute”, but Donald Trump is famous for proving it.


Beneficiaries of the ACA who voted for Trump

Fascinating video about people in Kentucky who benefitted tremendously from Obamacare, but who still voted for Donald Trump. They give their reasons, and talk about the gamble they took on Trump.


Trump’s Presser — SNL Style

Apparently Trump isn’t too happy about this. They accused Saturday Night Live of being “mean” and a “complete hit job”. Yes that’s right, the jerk who attacked a judge because of his Mexican heritage, dissed John McCain for being shot down over VietNam, made fun of a disabled reporter, and repeatedly attacked a Gold Star family, is upset because SNL is being mean to him.

His hypocrisy knows no bounds.


Life Accordion to Trump

Ever wonder why Trump waves his arms around so much?

And you know what? Accordions are YUUUGE in Russia.


Liberal Media is Back!

One piece of good news is that the progressive media has become energized and is preparing for the Trump presidency.

Every cloud has a silver lining, and presidency of Dubya launched many liberal news organizations, such as The Young Turks, Air America (which shuttered in 2010 after Obama became president), and Talking Points Memo joined longer term progressive organizations, like Mother Jones and the Huffington Post. But things fell off during the Obama presidency.

But now, they are all hiring staff. The best news is that they are particularly beefing up their investigative reporting staff. They have been able to do this because donations and subscriptions are up sharply, and they have not fallen off since the election. In fact, they are still increasing.

It is vital that we have a strong media to hold Trump accountable. If you have thought about supporting these organizations in the past, do it again. We need this now more than ever.



You may have noticed that posts have been a little spotty recently. Most of you know I have been traveling for the last few months and as the end of my vacation approaches, things have gotten a bit crazy. Sorry about that.

But don’t despair. I will be back home in a little over a week, so hopefully everything will get back on track soon after that.

Incidentally, Spain and Portugal are really lovely places. If for some strange reason you want to get away from the US for a while, I highly recommend them.


The Fate of Obamacare

Jen Sorensen
© Jen Sorensen

As someone who has spent a large part of my life starting new businesses, I know that repealing Obamacare without replacing it with something better will make it difficult for people to leave their jobs (with their health insurance) and start new companies. This, in turn, will strangle our economy. As politicians know, small businesses create most of the jobs in this country (and definitely not tax breaks for large corporations).

Ironically, Jen Sorensen, the creator of this comic, has the same problem. Here’s what she says about it:

I realize Obamacare wasn’t perfect — my own premiums have spiked, in part because so many people in Texas had gone without coverage for so long that they overwhelmed the system. But I’d still take the Affordable Care Act over what we had before any day. As a self-employed person, health insurance has been the bane of my existence for much of my career. For a few blissful years, I didn’t have to worry about it. Now I’m back to worrying. Why does Trump hate small businesspeople?

Of course I wish we had universal health care like most other industrialized nations on earth, but that wasn’t politically possible at the time Obama sought reform, and something had to be done. The ACA saved lives, and for that I’m grateful.


How Many Conservatives Will Believe This?

© Tom Tomorrow

Too bad this comic didn’t have room to verify all of the false rumors and lies that have been circulated about Obama during his presidency.


Fact Checking Trump’s Tweets

The Washington Post fact checker has started a new column just to check Trump’s tweets each week:

For the first installment, they check eight tweets from last week. New installments coming every week.


The Future of Fox News?

One bit of ironic news is that one of the major causes of our current national dysfunction, Fox News, is not doing very well. Roger Ailes, the creator of the greatest faux news propaganda machine in our nation’s history, is long gone.

And now, Megyn Kelly has announced that she is leaving Fox News and joining NBC. Which is an even more ironic choice of new home, since Kelly is now one of the most credible critics of Donald Trump, and Trump is still the executive producer of “The Apprentice” on NBC.

Kelly’s show on Fox News was their second most popular show, behind Bill O’Reilly. But O’Reilly has been talking about retiring sometime in 2017. So what happens to Fox News next? Rupert Murdock’s sons, who now run News Corp, want to take the channel in a new direction in order to appeal to a younger audience, as their current base demographic — old angry white men — is starting to die off.

Could this be good news?