One young woman, who got in a heated argument with a men’s rights activist at a protest in Canada, was subsequently dubbed as “little red frothing fornication mouth” by AVFM and had all of her private contact information published by MRAs. She received hundreds of elaborate threats of violence. One anonymous commenter invited her to “enjoy being anally defiled.” Another gloated: “I would actually cum cutting that bitch’s throat.” Another outspoken feminist told me personally that she had to get the FBI and the state police involved when AVFM targeted her. Authorities found the threats she received so credible that they advised her to leave home for two weeks, taking her husband and young child with her. Increasingly, men’s rights activists target women offline as well. Last month, members of the organization Men’s Rights Edmonton hung large “wanted”-style posters of a professor all over the University of Alberta campus, calling her a bigot. Her crime? She was involved in the university’s anti-rape campaign.
I’ve got a tiny taste of this last month. When word spread that I was going to be featured on 20/20, A Voice For Men published a hit piece, calling me a bad feminist (for criticizing Naomi Wolf), accusing me of demonizing male sexuality, and simultaneously suggesting that my bisexuality means I haven’t slept with enough men to have valid opinions about them, that I’m too fat and ugly to get a man to sleep with me, and that I’m a miserable slut who needs to manipulate other women into validating me. The comments thread features someone with the pseudonym Theseus saying “I would love to see a you tube [sic] vid with a heckler in the audience shouting out ‘Hey uh Jackie, I think a dude raping you is the least of your fucking problems’!!” Another commenter promised to do just that. As a survivor of sexual assault, threats like this shake me almost physically. While they never silence me, they always unsettle and exhaust me.
So far, the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s historic address on economic inequality has not veered from the predictable cliches of tea party rhetoric. It was appropriately summarized in a tweet from House Speaker John Boehner, complaining that the Democrat in the White House wants “more government rather than more freedom,” ignoring his challenge to Republicans to present solutions of their own.
But for Republicans to promote real remedies — the kind that would require more than 140 characters of text — they first would have to believe inequality is a real problem. And there is no evidence they do, despite fitful attempts by GOP leaders on Capitol Hill to display their “empathy” for the struggling, shrinking middle class.
File under: HOW DID I miss this?
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s (R) awkward attempt to link Vice President Joe Biden to the GOP’s policies against womens’ reproductive health was smacked down hard by Democratic National Committee chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) on Tuesday.
“Democrats like to complain about a Republican ‘war on women,’” Gingrich said on Crossfire, before mentioning Biden’s visit to a Japanese e-commerce company, DeNA, in which Biden asked a group of women working there if their husbands “like them working full-time,” if they were married, and if they were allowed to work from home.
“How do you explain Biden’s inability to stay in touch with reality?” Gingrich asked Wasserman Schultz, who expressed amazement that Gingrich would link the “war on women” term with Biden, the author of the Violence Against Women Act, which was been staunchly opposed by Republicans even after passing in the House in February 2013.
Guess he doesn’t want their votes (their families and friends also) in the future …
Just one day after Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor blew off a nine-year old girl who approached him in the hallways of the House by saying, “I can’t help you,” he refused to meet with over a dozen immigrant children who came to his office. It took just a few minutes for his staff to call the cops on the kids, who were singing for immigration reform.
“We want reform, we want it now. We are titanium. Keep our families together. We want reform right now,” the children sang. (Katy Perry would have been proud.)
The children, some of whom appeared to be as young as four or five, are part of groups identified as the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) and Keeping Families Together. They wore tee shirts that read, “Keep our families together.”
In which we find that not only the religious right, but also Ronald Reagan, Jeff Flake, and Grover Norquist backed the apartheid rulers of South Africa.
The news today of Nelson Mandela’s passing is also time to reflect on the complicated relationship between Mandela and his anti-apartheid African National Congress (ANC) with the US, which did not always support the anti-apartheid struggle. In fact, American conservatives lobbied the federal government in the 1980s to withhold support from the anti-apartheid movement.
President Reagan added the ANC to the US terrorism watch list, a designation not removed until 2008, and unsuccessfully vetoed sanctions against the apartheid regime. Many Republican lawmakers did break with the Reagan administration’s stance, but “all 21 [Senate] votes to sustain the veto were cast by Republicans.”
Mandela faced criticism from Republican leaders including Dick Cheney, who described Mandela’s ANC as a “terrorist organization,” and Jesse Helms, who “turned his back during Mandela’s visit to the U.S. Capitol.” Even in 1998, Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly lumped Mandela together with notorious dictators.
The White House has acknowledged that as a student at Harvard Law School in the 1980s, the president briefly lived with his Kenyan-born uncle, after it first denied the two had ever met.
Earlier this week, Onyango Obama, 69, faced a deportation that resulted from a 2011 drunken-driving arrest. At the hearing, which he won, the judge asked about his family, and Onyango replied that he had a nephew named Barack Obama, adding, “He’s the president of the United States.”
According to The Boston Globe, Onyango also testified that while the future president was attending Harvard Law School, he briefly stayed with him.
WASHINGTON — Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Thursday strongly defended the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council, telling attendees of the group’s policy summit that they can’t let criticism get them down.
“I first came to ALEC over a decade ago. When I was serving in the Bush administration, I’d been privileged to work with ALEC in the federal government,” Cruz said. “I’ve been privileged to work with ALEC when I was back in Texas with the Texas Public Policy Foundation, leading the 10th Amendment Center, and I’m proud to stand with ALEC today.”
ALEC circulates model legislation to state legislators, and its bills have led states to pass voter ID laws, Stand Your Ground laws and laws eliminating or reducing state income taxes.
The group has faced extra scrutiny since the February 2012 shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida. Authorities initially refused to arrest neighborhood watch leader George Zimmerman — Martin’s admitted killer — citing Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. Zimmerman was eventually found not guilty in the murder.
Corporate Sponsors of the ALEC summit, as listed in the program:
Citizens for Self-Governance
State Policy Network
VICE CHAIR LEVEL
Edison Electric Institute
Canadian National Railway Company
American Coalition for Clean Coal Energy
Time Warner Cable
Right On Crime
Charles Koch Institute
Forward Progressives — Above All Else, the Cause of Most Republican Ignorance Stems From This One Thing
I’ve had more debates with Republicans than I can even recall. I’ve talked to sensible Republicans who give me the slightest of hope for the GOP and I’ve talked to such radical, right-wing fanatics that it’s actually terrifying how these people are among us — free to do as they please.
But there’s still a trait I recognize within all of them, and I honestly believe it’s the root of the vast majority of what makes many of them so hopelessly ignorant about the world around them.
Conservatives simply lack the ability to see the world through any vantage point other than their own.
The House of Representatives used one of its few remaining legislative days in 2013 to pass a measure Wednesday that would exempt private equity firms like Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital from disclosure rules in the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.
The Dodd-Frank law requires financial advisers who manage more than $150 million in private funds to disclose detailed information to the Securities and Exchange Commission — information that the SEC uses to protect investors in the formerly secretive funds and to help evaluate systemic risks that could threaten the broader economy.
But House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) argued during the House floor debate before the vote that it is too burdensome for many such private equity firms to satisfy the rather complex filing requirements, and paying the costs would mean less capital going to create new companies and jobs. Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) argued that some firms would quit the business of raising money and investing in companies if they had to comply.
“The compliance costs for these smaller firms in towns like Columbus, Ohio, will be especially high as a percentage; and it could drive many of them out of business,” Stivers said.
Further, Hensarling argued, the deep-pocketed investors in such private funds are sophisticated and thus don’t need extra protection from the SEC.
The fact that there has to be training in not saying idiotic things (which comes from believing idiotic things, but that’s another story) speaks volumes about where the Republican Party is today.
It’s more than making sure Todd Akin doesn’t rear his ugly head again. It’s about leap frogging 20 or 21 centuries.
A GOP aide told Politico that the NRCC held “multiple sessions” with incumbents’ aides on messaging in races where the challenger is a woman. By Politico’s count, at least 10 male GOP incumbents in the House of Representatives face Democratic women challengers in the 2014 midterm elections.
House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) top aides also held a meeting with GOP staff to discuss how legislators should talk to female constituents, although a Republican staffer who attended the meeting told Politico that “some of these guys have a lot to learn”
In other news, water is wet.