There’s so much going on today, I couldn’t pick just one topic. So, here’s what’s banging around in my brain:
Feminism: Dead? And if so, what next for women?
The incredible Dr. Violet Socks has a very interesting discussion going on about feminism and where it goes from here. I personally would like to adopt the framing “Pro-Woman” to replace the restrictive language of “pro-life” and “pro-choice.” There are plenty of people who do not want abortions, but who have no interest in preventing other women from getting them. They do not fit either category, and I have been reading many of their comments online about how they have felt excluded from the feminist movement. This is unfair and unnecessary, and should we adopt the words “pro-woman” to describe ourselves in the future, perhaps a more inclusive version of feminism could be promulgated.
Daschle as HHS Secretary?
This selection makes me nervous. Daschle’s record on reproductive issues is poor. He only received a 50% rating from NARAL, and even anti-contraception jackoffs like Joe “Short Ride” Lieberman have scored consistently higher than that – sometimes receiving a rating of 100%, as in 2007.
Why is this so important? Because of the actions of the current HHS Secretary, in service of Teh Deciderer. Not Your Sweetie has the details:
A last-minute Bush administration plan to grant sweeping new protections to health care providers who oppose abortion and other procedures on religious or moral grounds has provoked a torrent of objections, including a strenuous protest from the government agency that enforces job-discrimination laws.
It would also prevent hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices and drugstores from requiring employees with religious or moral objections to “assist in the performance of any part of a health service program or research activity” financed by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Now just think about this for a second. You are a health professional. It is your job to dispense birth control, work on stem cell research, perform abortions. Yet you decide your “conscience” prevents you from doing your job. Does your boss have the right to fire you? Why, no. And what about the woman who wants the abortion or birth control? Shit out of luck.
This is the type of hypocritical bullshit that pisses me off in the extreme. If you don’t want to do your job, YOU’RE FIRED. Someone else who has a modicum of integrity and decency can be hired in your place. You can feel free to have your religious beliefs, but you do NOT have the right to destroy peoples’ lives because of them. The fact that I would even have to make this case in the 21st Fucking Century is simply appalling.
No, the sole purpose of this 13th-century HHS Rule is to further remove womens’ rights to control their own reproductive organs and health. And so help me Gawd, the second Mr. Daschle takes office, we should do a coordinated action to ask him to overturn this rule IMMEDIATELY. (Before you trolls jump all over me (whoops! too late!), Barack Obama has signed a letter, written by Hillary Clinton and Patty Murray, opposing this rule. Ostensibly, he is against it. But will his actions mirror his words?)
This is the point of no return for me. If Daschle does not overturn that rule, then it will be clear that he was put into that seat in order to further the Bush jihad against womens’ rights. I dearly hope that will not turn out to be the case.
All Hail the Mustache of Justice!
Representative Henry Waxman has been elected as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Although he has been making a name for himself as one of the few Democrats interested in holding Bush/Cheney accountable for their lawbreaking, he did not start out that way.
…Waxman is a legislative genius. Most of his legislative accomplishments came before the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress, when he chaired the health and environment subcommittee of Energy and Commerce. Progressive legislating has been pretty much off the table since then, which is why he shifted focus to Congress’s chief investigative committee. Those who have served in Congress for fewer than 14 years weren’t around when Waxman greatly strengthened the Clean Air Act and authored the legislation that expanded Medicaid coverage to the poorest children (enlisting Republican abortion-foe Henry Hyde as his partner in the effort). They didn’t see Waxman steer to passage the bills that gave rise to the generic drug industry, required uniform nutrition labels on food, heightened standards of care at nursing homes, created screening programs for breast and cervical cancer, provided health care for people with HIV/AIDS, or expanded Medicaid coverage to the working poor.
Excellent, excellent news.
And now, for the bad news. The Dow is below 8,000 now. I thank my lucky stars that hubby and I got out of the stock market before we lost our IRAs. There just doesn’t seem to be any positive news regarding leading economic factors: the jobless rate is the highest in 16 years, the global markets are down, the Big Three automakers are on the brink of disaster, the fallout from the housing market continues…oy vey is mir.
Clearly, the financial disaster is the direct result of Bushonomics, aka, Reaganomics on steroids, with extra war and tax cuts to make it even worse. However, I still can’t help thinking that President-Elect Treebeard should have named a Secretary of the Treasury by now – indeed, it should have happened during his press conference. Everyone is so sick of Bush that no one cares what he says or does anymore; he is the lamest of ducks. The people are looking towards their new President for leadership and guidance. A bold, decisive move would have shown confidence and might have bolstered the markets a bit. Larry Summers, in all his deregulatory and misogynist splendor, surely cannot be the only name Obama was considering. What is the holdup?
And I can’t help thinking that dangling Hillary and Bill Clinton in front of our eyes for the past several days has been a distraction from the most important issue of our time. Yes, I’m cynical, but what’s the deal with this yes-no-maybe-so about the Secretary of State? Come on, guys, put up or shut up.
This has been all the news that’s fit to bloviate upon, as determined by your faithful blogmistress. Here’s hoping you have a job, health benefits and/or a retirement plan that does NOT depend on the stock market. As Samuel L. Jackson said in Jurassic Park, “Hold onto your butts!”
Cross-posted at The Confluence