Gotta say. . .
Abortion vote? Man up, Mr Cruz!
Cruz official photo. Artwork: ©2917 FairNow.org
I was reviewing the position of extreme rightwing Texas senator Ted Cruz on certain policy issues before I join other people of conscience in demonstrating at his Houston office this Tuesday 2/21/17 at noon. (Since dissent is the highest form of patriotism, you’re invited. And bring Old Glory.)
A quick Google search reminded me that Mr Cruz has definite beliefs about your daughter. (Citations appended below.) He believes that if your daughter, whom you love more than life itself, is violated by rape, and the rapist impregnates her, she should be arrested, convicted and imprisoned — if she seeks to cleanse herself of what she feels is a horror growing within her body, against her will. An extension of her trauma.
Perhaps if Mr Cruz were raped, violated, traumatized as many women are, he would feel differently. Trouble is, he lacks not only human compassion but a womb.
While a womb is not needed for compassion, one might argue that men generally have less of a feel for women's issues than women do. Generally. There may be plenty of exceptions, but one thing is sure: Ted Cruz is not one of them — not according to his rhetoric and record.
Given that most lawmaking bodies have a preponderance of men, and these bodies enact laws deeply affecting women's bodies, I propose to even the legislative odds on women's behalf.
I propose that all men recuse themselves from voting on issues that primarily affect women's control over their own bodies. That'll empty the house pretty quick. And the Senate.
Currently there are 21 women serving in the 100-member US Senate: 16 Democratic and 5 Republican. In the House, 83 of the 435 voting members are women: 62 Dem, 21 GOP.
These are the people who should be voting (if at all) on who gets to control women's bodies. On this issue, at least, the rest of Congress can go take a hike.
Women outnumber men in the US population. So think of this proposal as affirmative action on behalf of the majority of Americans, not a minority. God knows, Mr Cruz’s party opposes giving affirmative action to minorities.
So nothing personal, Mr Cruz. Just man up and step aside.
Do it for the majority.
How Ted Cruz Sides With Rapists
Even without being impregnated, many rape survivors carry their trauma for the rest of their lives, unable to fully heal. Thus forcing a woman to carry a rapist's fetus may be the cruelest punishment ever devised for the survivor of any crime. Yet that is precisely what Ted Cruz aims to do.
One can only imagine that some rapists — far from all, but the real sickos, incorrigible predators — are smirking up their sleeve. They want to not just hurt and degrade women but mutilate their very soul. And now they have a powerful ally: Senator Ted Cruz, their partner in crime.
I am guessing there's a special place in hell for the likes of Mr Cruz.
For many rape survivors, I don't have to guess. I know exactly where hell resides.
Georgia Right to Life, one of the most outspoken proponents of the movement to grant legal “personhood” to fertilized eggs and fetuses, has endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz for president after he signed their candidate pledge promising to “support a personhood amendment to the U.S. Constitution.” GRTL’s pledge, which the group says Cruz signed, asks candidates to affirm that “a continuum of human life and personhood begins at the moment of fertilization” and promise to protect “the civil rights of the pre-born at an embryonic or fetal level.” In practice, personhood would not only criminalize all abortions, it could also endanger some common forms of birth control and put women who have suffered miscarriages at risk of prosecution. The Georgia group’s advocacy of sweeping personhood measures to ban abortion is so radical that it caused it to split from the National Right to Life Committee.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said last month that Congress could “absolutely” criminalize all abortion by passing a law giving 14th Amendment protections to fetuses and zygotes, thus bypassing a constitutional amendment overturning Roe v. Wade. This represents the Republican presidential candidate’s strongest endorsement yet of the radical anti-choice “personhood” strategy, which, based on a questionable interpretation of Roe, holds that Congress can simply outlaw abortion by classifying fertilized eggs as persons under the law. If successful, personhood would outlaw nearly all abortions and could even criminalize certain types of birth control.
Cruz has staked out what he calls “courageous conservatism,” and refuses to budge from a hard-line anti-abortion stand. He subscribes to the belief that life begins at fertilization. This position would not only criminalize abortions in the case of rape and incest but would prohibit the use of contraceptive methods that are understood to prevent the uterine implantation of a fertilized egg like the intrauterine device and the morning-after pill.
Ted Cruz’s dangerous, extremist position to ban abortion across the board is wildly out of touch with women and Americans as a whole. But this is the same frightening zeal we get from all of the GOP candidates — Trump last week voiced intentions to ‘punish’ women who had abortions... Cruz also touts support from the most extreme and dangerous elements of the anti-abortion movement: namely the leader of Operation Rescue, Troy Newman. Newman is so extreme that Australia wouldn't let him in their country. A member of Newman’s Operation Rescue is responsible for murdering Dr. George Tiller. One of the group’s current spokeswomen, Cheryl Sullenger, served two years in prison for attempting to bomb a women’s health center that provided abortions. Newman himself has defended multiple other extremists and called the murder of an abortion clinic doctor a “justifiable defensive action.”
Original content ©2017 FairNow.org
The new presidential administration is crammed with alumni from one particular firm: Goldman Sachs. There’s Steve Bannon, Steve Mnuchin, and Gary Cohn. For starters.
"The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it's everywhere. The world's most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money." —Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, April 2010.
Yet as Wall Street celebrates this swift return to glory days, let’s remember that a taxpayer-owned “public option” is outperforming Goldman Sachs and, more generally, Wall Street.
"It is more profitable than Goldman Sachs Group Inc., has a better credit rating than J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and hasn’t seen profit growth drop since 2003." —Wall Street Journal, 11/16/14
"It" refers not to some colossus of crony capitalism but the state-owned Bank of North Dakota, America's only public bank. North Dakota launched this taxpayer-owned “public option” on a wave of populist anger against big banks, whose unrestrained greed devastated ordinary folks.
Sounds like this morning’s news, but the North Dakota government launched this do-it-yourself banking solution nearly a hundred years ago, in 1919. Today the socialistic Bank of North Dakota (BND) thrives in what is now one of America's reddest states. Proof, perhaps, that life has a keen sense of humor — but this time the joke's on Wall Street.
The 2014 financial results WSJ reported were not a flash in the pan. Third-quarter 2016 financials show BND again outperforming Goldman Sachs’ return on equity, a key measure of bank profitability, by more than 60 percent.
Eye-opening, for sure. But what exactly is BND? It does not operate like your neighborhood bank: it's a wholesale "banker's bank" with one office and no branches. By state law, tax revenues are deposited in BND and not in Wall Street banks, the default choice almost everywhere else.
Thanks to BND's strong support of independent local banking, North Dakota has six times more community banks and credit unions per capita than other states. On average, these local financial institutions do four times more small-business lending than their counterparts elsewhere — a substantial, ongoing boost to North Dakota's economy.
That's not all. State-owned BND lends cheaply to cities, counties and other public entities, like school systems. They borrow from BND at typical interest rates of about 2 percent and without the exorbitant fees charged by Wall Street. The result: huge cost savings on infrastructure projects and other public financings, a boon to taxpayers.
Earnings from lending help grow BND’s capital base, enabling the bank to further expand lending. The rest of its earnings go back to the State of North Dakota. Over the years BND has returned hundreds of millions of dollars to the state treasury, easing pressure to raise taxes while helping to pay for public services.
BND’s dazzling performance is managed by bankers who are state government employees. Civil servants. No sky-high salaries, no stock options, no golden parachutes.
This terrifies Wall Street.
After all, what if other states — and cities and counties — got uppity like North Dakota? What if they started their own banks, public banks operating strictly in the public interest instead of enriching top executives and wealthy shareholders?
What if state and local governments, with their trillions in deposits and debt, declared independence from Wall Street? Turned their backs on the financial elite whose behavior continues to devastate families, communities and economies?
What if these public entities declared, like Bernie Sanders, “Enough is enough!”
It’s already starting to happen. Millionaire and Wall Street renegade Phil Murphy, the leading candidate for New Jersey governor, is running on a public banking platform after news emerged that NJ squandered more than a billion dollars on Wall Street fees alone.
The Oakland, California city council looks ready to invest in a public banking feasibility study. Dozens of other public banking initiatives are underway from Phoenix to Philadelphia.
This revolt won’t happen overnight, but it’s gradually gathering steam — no matter how many crony capitalists are crammed into the White House.
Links embedded in this article:
Thank You, Mr Trump!
This post originally appeared at BernieWorks.com the day after the 2016 general election. Now it's three months later and we are three weeks into the Trump administration. A fitting time to glance back at those first moments after the shock set in.
Dear Mr Trump:
We at BernieWorks.com view your ascension as an exhilarating opportunity. It's time for all decent folks — tens of millions — to crank up Bernie Sanders' progressive political revolution for real.
It takes a grain of sand to be an irritant, causing an oyster to create a pearl. You are that irritant, Mr. Trump. Thank you for your service.
Though everyone is breathlessly talking about you, please remember: you are nothing but a grain of sand. Put another way, this is really not about you, it's about us.
Switching metaphors. . .
Vaccines generate a healthy response by revving up the body's immune system.
Perhaps a bracing dose of you, Mr Trump, with your seedy following of hatemongers and corrupt cronies, will finally stir up the body politic. Time to strongly reject the gradual attacks that both major parties have made on millions of American families over the past 40 years, crippling us like a chronic wasting disease. Enough is enough.
You could be the inoculation we have needed. Perhaps only someone as noxious as you could finally generate a healthy, overwhelming immune response.
It speaks poorly of our nation and people that we let things get this bad before mounting a massive response, like someone with a weak immune system.
But at least it's happening. We hope.
So regardless of what we think of you, Mr Trump, we can think of ourselves as a humble part of the body politic's immune system at long last kicking into high gear.
A pearl, a healthy body politic — whichever view you prefer, the opportunity is ours now.
In aikido, they say an adversary's attack is his gift to you. You have given us this precious gift, Mr Trump.
It's up to us to use it. Or lose it.