Tag Archives: politicians

2015 in Quotes

v2-germanwings-crash

Germanwings crash site in France, photo by The Independent

January

“These towns are just gone, burned down,” said Nigerian Ahmed Zanna, a senator for Borno state where a Boku Haram attack killed more than 2,000 people “The whole area is covered in bodies.”

I wonder why Facebook didn’t make a feel-good support tint for people’s profile pictures around this torched Nigerian village. Read More…

The Watchers and Wendy Davis

Wendy Davis screen capture filibusterThis news out of Texas was quickly supplanted by the SCOTUS decisions around marriage equality today, the Trayvon Martin George Zimmerman trial, and somehow, by continued coverage of Paula Deen’s racism. But it’s worth taking a closer look at the 11-hour filibuster by Texas State Senator Wendy Davis because it was a moment that perhaps can give us some lessons to remember for future political battles—which will inevitably will come our way. Or say, next month.

1. The filibuster was well planned and executed—Wendy had several things going for her, including a thick binder of germane content to read on the floor of the chamber, testimony from women that had not been allowed during earlier hearings on SB5, a Web page collecting more on-point testimony, and apparently, a big old Depends undergarment. She also had clearly prepped on the rules of the Senate filibuster allowances, and while she was abruptly ended by the Senate President for getting off-topic, talking about how SB5 would harmfully interact with an earlier passed law on sonograms was arguably still germane to the discussion. Dr. Gunter outlines the argument why that’s the case. But that she held the floor so long, despite extreme bending of the Senate’s rules on the part of the GOP supermajority makes this moment a prime example of successful governance. Big-ticket issues like a woman’s right to choose should be filibuster material, especially when the stakes are the closure of 37 out of 42 abortion-providing clinics in a state with 26 million people. Read More…

Post in the New Year

congresswomen2013 is here and already people are waving their fists at the sky in frustration. Mitch McConnell of the US Senate is angry his congressional colleagues want to take up gun control debates on the floor. Murmurs from DC point to anger over the nominations of Chuck Hagel to head the Department of Defense and of John Kerry to lead State. Shooting victims from Aurora, Colorado, bemoan the possible trial of the Man Who Would be Joker, and the Hell’s Angels rode en masse to Connecticut to obstruct the Westboro Baptist Church from protesting at the Newtown victims’ funerals. If any of us had any hope that the end of the election could bring down the vitriol a notch or two, we had another thing coming. Glenn Beck may be relegated to the superhighway, but Ann Coulter continues to get attention for saying this jackass thing or that, and the Tea Party continues its clamp down on legislative productivity.

Therefore, I propose a few things for the sane among us to get through these trying times: Read More…

The Most Exciting Aspects of the 2012 Election

President Obama gives a thumbs up on his winWhile there are several House races and ballot initiatives still being counted, the big news today is that President Obama was reelected in a decisive victory over Mitt Romney last night. (Note to self: Always have a concession speech on hand so people don’t think you’re a spoiled jackass.) In addition to the troubling developments that came out of this election cycle, there were many highlights and exciting moments that will affect us as an electorate for some time. Again, in no particular order:

The women’s, Latino, and African American votes determined the presidential winner—Clear majorities from each group voted for the Democratic side of the ticket, setting the pundits abuzz over whether the increasing conservative of the GOP pushed them away. Of course the opposite could be true: Democrats made pains to express their support of “everyday” Americans, the “47 percent” and the middle class. While the old school messages about workers and unions were not as present as in elections past, the point about supporting the auto industry served as a good proxy into the same target demographic, and exit polls showed that Obama’s funding of the auto bailout brought over working class white voters to vote for him in Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan. But outside of this issue in these limited states, it was the turnout of women and people of color who felt their interests were on the line who made the difference.  Read More…

Entropy and the Asshole

Todd Akin, rogue scientistTrigger warning: This blog post is about sexual assault.

I’m a believer in entropy. Well, not “in” it exactly, in that I don’t worship at the altar of things coming undone or descending into chaos, but I believe it exists as a force. Clean up a room and slowly things get out of place. Watch the waves come into shore and eventually you’ll notice the beach is growing…or greatly receding. If the universe is replete with patterns, it is also chock full of disorder. Stars collapse, DNA mutates, and here on earth human beings invent new ways of injuring each other.

So it is that in the sea of sound bites that defines the Sunday morning politics shows on American television, Representative Akin (R-Mo), running for the Senate, said that women who are victims of “legitimate rape” don’t get pregnant because the female body releases a chemical that prevents insemination. This representation of pseudo-science, which stems from an evaluation of how some waterfowl resist pregnancy, is at once a misunderstanding of science, how the human body works, and the range of circumstances that lead to sexual assault in this country. And these are not to mention that it is millions of women, not “thousands” as described by Akin in his amendment to his statement after the Internet cried foul upon his original remarks. Read More…

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