Archive for Women’s Issues


Pete Seeger, R.I.P.

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Pete singing one by his sister, Peggy. He was 94, the New York Times reports. We will miss him.

For Mr. Seeger, folk music and a sense of community were inseparable, and where he saw a community, he saw the possibility of political action.

Pete Seeger


It’s Thanksgiving But Don’t Feed The Trolls

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It’s been Web 2.0 for a while now but it didn’t take social media to invent the Internet’s oldest frenemy: the troll. What makes a troll a troll? I’ll attempt to provide a commonly used definition of internet troll. But behavior of this type varies so much from context to context that it is important to remember what a wise soul once said about what makes pornography.

I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description ["hard-core pornography"]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.

Here is a troll “definition” or description I like. There are others.

Named for the wicked troll creatures of children’s tales, trolling is purposely sowing hatred, bigotry, racism, misogyny, or just simple bickering between others. Trolls themselves are emotionally-immature users who thrive in any environment where they are allowed to make public comments, like blog sites, news sites, discussion forums, and game chat.

That last part is key: any environment where they are allowed to make public comments. Like maybe a nationally broadcast radio show? Obviously Rush Limbaugh comes to mind when thinking about radio trolls. We can’t forget the infamous attacks on Sandra Fluke. Fortunately, Rush has had a huge drop in advertising revenue since then. But with his complete record it’s a wonder anyone would associate their brand with this troll.

But just think. The Supreme Court of the United States is going to hear a case about contraception coverage in Obamacare. This was at the heart of Sandra Fluke’s testimony for which she was treated so poorly by Rush. Hope the Supremes don’t go a-trollin’. If they do, we’ll know it when we see it.


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“I really don’t get involved in social issues.” — Representative Tim Moffitt (R-Buncombe)

More video today from that August 5 realtors’ luncheon where Tim Moffitt admitted to engaging in legislative retaliation against the City of Asheville, a litigant in a pending lawsuit against the state.

In this exchange, attendee Cindy Ward asks Moffitt his thoughts on the abortion restrictions enacted by the legislature and signed by Governor McCrory.

“I really don’t get involved in social issues. At all,” Rep. Moffitt replies.

“But you vote on it [unintelligible] so you must be involved,” insists a second woman.

“I’m not involved,” Moffitt insists right back.

“Who are you representing?” Ward asks, not buying the not-so-smart-ALEC response. “If you’re not involved, who are you representing? You’re a representative.”

“Right,” says Moffitt.

“In Raleigh,” Ward adds, driving home her point.

Moffitt explains that the abortion debate in the Republican caucus is driven by the women in the caucus. He just goes along in support, because he supports the women.

Just so you know, social conservatives — and women in general — if you think you’re paying Tim Moffitt to represent you on social issues, he doesn’t consider it part of his job description.

Cindy Ward’s interview on The Jeff Messer Show (880 AM) is here. Segment starts at 25:20.

It’s a Sharia bill. Shazam! It’s an abortion bill. It’s a motorcycle bill. Shazam! It’s an abortion bill.

It passed the NC House today, 74-41.

Oh, and the House voted to snatch Charlotte’s airport, too.

It’s not just a war on women.


Not Born Yesterday

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The Washington Post takes North Carolina Republican legislators to the woodshed over last week’s amendments that created the state Senate’s Sharia/abortion bill:

In pretending to promote safety, the actual accomplishment of these amendments would be to place an undue burden on women seeking abortions. Fewer clinics means less access to licensed, well-equipped providers. Where is the safety in that? These restrictions are disingenuous attempts to infringe on a woman’s ability to make constitutionally protected decisions in consultation with her doctor.

No kidding. We’ve spent days here in NC wondering how these people can sleep or look themselves in the mirror after telling the women of North Carolina that these measures are being enacted for their own protection, and do it with solemn faces and the Savior watching.

The Post notes objections about legislative process by North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R). But it remains to be seen whether McCrory will stand by a campaign pledge not to sign legislation including new restrictions on abortion access such as those in Texas and Ohio. The Post continues:

In fact, disrespect for process is a disturbing commonality in many of these proposed restrictions and further evidence of their true intent. Any law that will limit women’s access to abortion and to much other health care deserves a public hearing. Honesty about the true motivation of these laws would be welcome, too.

As North Carolina tries to nail down a budget, it’s honesty more than money that is in short supply in Raleigh.


War? What War? Oh! That One.

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The day after, Rachel Maddow reports:

In a surprise move last night, North Carolina Senate Republicans amended a bill introduced to ban Sharia law and inserted language that would force closure of all but one of the state’s abortion clinics. A House staffer reported that there was “no sign of this bill until barely 2 hours before the vote took place.”

Even as the Texas state legislature was back in session to again debate the restrictive abortion bill defeated there last week, the new language introduced in North Carolina would force Planned Parenthood to close all its clinics in the state, said Sen. Martin Nesbitt, D-Buncombe, the Senate Minority Leader during debate.

Read More→

imageSo many stories, so little lunchtime. Have at it. I gotta go back to work.

Texas Abortion Bill Filibustered By State Senator Wendy Davis Is Dead

Supreme Court Strikes Down Defense Of Marriage Act


Netroots Nation 2013 Closing Keynote

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“Their tears are delicious.” – Marcos Moulitsas

Don’t miss my friend, Joel Silberman’s, 5-minute talk at 28:00: “The Deeper the Closet, the Bigger the Hair.”

I missed a good part myself. I’m watching it like this right now.

Watch live streaming video from freespeechtv at

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Moral Monday

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Growing numbers of people are gathering on Mondays in Raleigh to voice their strong support for the things that keep our society and economy ticking – Education, Health Care, and Voting Rights among them. The weekly gatherings are called Moral Mondays. Supporters have gathered outside and inside, and many have been arrested for refusing to end their peaceful occupation of public buildings. NC Policy Watch has a statistical list up today regarding the NC Senate budget. Excerpt:

Thousands and thousands – Number of low-income, pregnant women who will be kicked off of the state Medicaid plan and forced into the private insurance market under the Senate budget plan (“Senate budget plan kicks pregnant women off of Medicaid,” The Progressive Pulse, May 23, 2013)

25 – Years since former Republican Governor Jim Martin helped launch a major statewide effort to reduce North Carolina’s infant mortality rate (which was then highest in the nation) by expanding eligibility to Medicaid for low-income pregnant women (Ibid)

185% of the federal poverty level (or about $20,000 per year for a single person) – Income eligibility threshold for Medicaid health insurance for pregnant women that was ultimately enacted as part of that successful effort (Ibid)

From 13 per 1,000 to 7.2 per 1,000 – Amount infant mortality rate has fallen in North Carolina during that period (Tom Vitaglione, Senior Fellow for Health and Safety at Action for Children N.C)

133% of the federal poverty level (or about $15,000 per year for a single person) – Income threshold under the budget adopted by the North Carolina Senate (The Progressive Pulse, May 23, 2013)

It’s this kind of thing that has prompted the Moral Monday demonstrations that have grown week after week. Below you’ll find a video with lots of excerpts from previous events. There’s a big demonstration scheduled for today.