More Women In Politics, Please

Photoshop is some powerful stuff. Mother Jones this week, citing to a video by Elle UK:

The current pace at which women are elected to office in the United States and abroad is incredibly slow. A recent study cited in the Nation found that gender equality in American politics won’t be seen for another 500 years— a demoralizing trend that’s also evident in most major industries, from Silicon Valley to Hollywood.
For anyone who believes that women’s underrepresentation in politics and industry is a progressive myth, a new video created by Elle UK proves otherwise. Using the power of Photoshop, the project wipes out all the men in politics, entertainment, and more to show just how few women actually have a seat at the table.

And here is said video:

CD4 Candidate Forum

Five congressional candidates in CD4 attended an event held by the United Democratic Women of Maryland in Crofton on Saturday.

Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller opened the event in Crofton by addressing recent losses by Democrats.

“Things are tough in Southern Maryland,” he said. “But it’s going to get better.”

Former Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Warren Christopher, Del. Joseline Peña-Melnyk, former Prince George’s County Council Chairwoman Ingrid Turner and statistician Terence M. Strait delivered speeches to the group.

Anthony Brown:

Brown said he wants to strengthen communities by focusing in part on education, from early childhood education to technology training for mid-career adults — as well as in the prison system.

“My vision for public safety isn’t based on arrests and incarceration. It’s based on education and opportunity,” he said. “We have to reduce recidivism and we do that be making sure that everyone who reenters our community reenters with a credential.”

Warren Christopher:

Christopher said he is a single father who has raised two daughters as their mother pursued her career overseas.

“I am a strong man, a former soldier, but I can stand here boldly and strongly and tell you I am a feminist,” he said. “Men are often trying to dictate to women what to do with their bodies, but men are the ones that are always at the center of scandal and can’t control their own damn bodies.”

Joseline Pena-Melnyk:

Peña-Melnyk, an attorney whose District 21 includes parts of Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties, said she is an example of the American Dream. She moved to New York City from the Dominican Republic with her mother and sister at age 8, and the family relied on public assistance such as food stamps, welfare and Section 8 housing vouchers. It’s her family’s financial struggle that Peña-Melnyk said sets her apart.

“I know the needs of our district,” she said. “I have lived it.”
Peña-Melnyk, a mother of three, said she was a defense attorney, a public defender, and the lead sponsor of over 50 bills. She said some of her priorities as a congresswoman would be reducing interest rates for college loans, raising the minimum wage, and maintaining an office that is accessible and responsive to constituents.

Ingrid Turner:

Turner said some of her main priorities are creating jobs and keeping business in Maryland, increasing access to healthcare, and extending public school education by two years.

“We can’t compete with China and other countries,” she said. “Twelve years is not enough. Our kids deserve 14 years of education.”

Delegate Dereck Davis did not attend the event.

Biden Isn’t Running And If He Does He Shouldn’t Win

Charles Pierce speaks for me, as he so often does. This about sums up my feelings on the still-looming Biden campaign, now in its eighth week atop the breathless Politico standings:

The whole Biden shadow play is getting very, very old. The inclusion of him in current polling models is one very small step short of ratfcking Hillary Clinton’s numbers, and it does a real disservice to the other candidates as well. (Why not put Mitt Romney or Michael Bloomberg in the Republican field?) What we seem to have is a bunch of generally nervous Democrats, and some Biden loyalists who like to talk to reporters, and who still dream of that West Wing office that was denied them the other two times Joe Biden ran for president and got crushed. Oh, and there are some political reporters who find this whole thing a lot easier than working for a living.

Oh, and if you want to talk policy, all you “I Stand With Planned Parenthood” people better not pick up those “Biden 2016” banners because this:

If gender issues are Hillary Clinton’s primary progressive strength, they’re one of Biden’s major weaknesses. It’s not just the role he played in Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearings, when, as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, his treatment of Anita Hill enraged feminists. Biden let her be grilled mercilessly while assuring Thomas that he had the “benefit of the doubt,” and even refused to let three witnesses who might have corroborated her story testify. That was almost 25 years ago, of course, and since then Biden has done several things to redeem himself, including championing the Violence Against Women Act. His decidedly lukewarm record on reproductive rights, however, is harder to dismiss as ancient history, particularly given the onslaught of anti-abortion legislation we’re seeing all over the country.
What would he do if, say, a 20-week abortion ban came across his desk?
“There have been some clutch moments where he hasn’t been with us,” says Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. “I think Joe Biden is a great guy, and I think we are at a particular moment with regard to threats against abortion rights specifically, and women’s autonomy generally, that makes me a little nervous.”

It’s no secret that Biden is personally a pro-life Catholic. He takes what he believes is a “middle-of-the-road” position on abortion law, as he wrote in his 2007 campaign memoir, Promises to Keep: “I still vote against partial-birth abortion and federal funding, and I’d like to find ways to make it easier for scared young mothers to choose not to have an abortion, but I will also vote against a constitutional amendment that strips a women of her right to make her own choice.” That, at least, was an improvement from 1982, when, as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he did vote for a constitutional amendment to overturn Roe v. Wade.
In 2012, the National Right to Life Committee compiled a report on Biden’s anti-abortion voting record that was intended to highlight what it called Obama’s “extreme pro-abortion positions.” The documentation in the dossier is solid. There is a scan, for example, of a 1994 letter that Biden sent to a Delaware constituent who was concerned that abortion funding would be included in health care reform. “I will continue to abide by the same principle that has guided me throughout my 21 years in the Senate: those of us who are opposed to abortion should not be compelled to pay for them. As you may know, I have consistently – on no fewer than 50 occasions – voted against federal funding of abortions.”

He’s a funny guy, and he’s suffered more tragedy in his life than anyone should be expected to bear – I can relate – but his politics really aren’t that good. And nothing in his past says that he can actually win. Or that he even want sot run. All this “will he/won’t he” crap is just wasting time he doesn’t have to spare right now.

Hillary Clinton is going to be the nominee. Get with the program, bitches, and let’s go tear the crap out of whatever mangy dog with fleas the GOP puts up. Winning is what matters. That and policy. On both grounds, Joe Biden doesn’t measure up.

Dem Legislators To Hogan: Don’t Mess With Planned Parenthood

“Mess” was not my first choice of verb there, but I don’t want to get anybody in trouble for my potty mouth, so I switched it. It’s a family blog – sometimes.

Delegates Ariana Kelly of Bethesda and Shelly Hettleman of Baltimore County wrote and circulated a powerful letter to Governor Larry Hogan regarding Planned Parenthood funding in Maryland. An impressive group of 65 delegates (out of 91 in the entire Democratic caucus) signed the letter, including five committee chairs, five vice chairs, four congressional candidates, and the entire 24 member Montgomery County House delegation. Nine senators also signed the letter, including the entire MoCo delegation (and another congressional contender).

It’s a great letter, and particularly appropriate on Pink Out Day. Here’s the text in its entirety. It can also be found here.

Dear Governor Hogan:

Your office has said repeatedly that you are eager to put partisanship aside and get things done.

We are watching the Republican-controlled Congress take the federal government to the brink of a shutdown over federal funding of Planned Parenthood, and we are concerned that General Assembly Republicans have drawn inspiration from the dysfunction your office so often condemns.

Please take a public stand against these fringe tactics and commit now to funding Planned Parenthood in your FY2017 budget.

The Frederick News-Post recently reported that certain Frederick County lawmakers want to eliminate State reimbursement for the critical public health services provided by Planned Parenthood. These legislators are embracing the approach of Capitol Hill Republicans who put partisanship ahead of getting things done for our country. As Governor, you can stop this dysfunction by condemning their approach and committing to funding Planned Parenthood.

According to the Department of Budget & Management’s Funding Transparency & Accountability website, the State of Maryland made payments totaling $2.6 million to Planned Parenthood of Maryland, Inc. in FY2014. These payments were made primarily by the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene to support community-based health care, including life-saving cancer screenings, family planning services, and other cost-saving preventative health care services that strengthened the health of Maryland women, girls and the overall condition of our communities.

These services are not controversial, and it would be extremely disappointing for you to allow the radical fringe of your own Party to try to score political points at the expense of your constituents’ health. Planned Parenthood’s services are a critical component of community-based care for thousands of Maryland women and their families, and they are counting on you to protect their access to health care.

Do not let the very dysfunction your administration so often criticizes come to Annapolis. Please speak today against fringe tactics and commit to funding Planned Parenthood in your FY2017 budget.

Sincerely,

Delegate Ariana Kelly (District 16)
Delegate Shelly Hettleman (District, 11)
Delegate Edith Patterson, (District 28)
Delegate Steve Lafferty (District 42A)
Delegate Ben Barnes (District 21)
Delegate Pete Hammen (District 46)
Delegate Barbara Frush (District 21)
Delegate Sandy Rosenberg (District 41)
Delegate Joseline Pena-Melnyk (District 21)
Delegate Luke Clippinger (District 46)
Delegate Tawanna Gaines (District 22)
Delegate Dan Morhaim (Districct 11)
Delegate Alonzo Washington (District 22)
Delegate Mary Washington (District 43)
Delegate Karen Lewis Young (District 3A)
Delegate Brooke Lierman (District 46)
Delegate Erek Barron (District 24)
Delegate Dana Stein (District 11)
Delegate Angela Angel (District 25)
Delegate Maggie McIntosh (District 43)
Delegate Dereck Davis (District 25)
Delegate Ben Brooks (District 10)
Delegate Kris Valderrama (District 26)
Delegate Eric Ebersole (District 12)
Delegate Darryl Barnes (District 25)
Delegate Frank Turner (District 13)
Delegate Jimmy Tarlau (District 47A)
Delegate Cheryl Glenn (District 45)
Delegate Anne Kaiser (District 14)
Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary (District 13)
Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo (District 15)
Delegate Adrienne Jones (District 10)
Delegate Craig Zucker (District 14)
Delegate Nathaniel Oaks (District 41)
Delegate Kathleen Dumais (District 15)
Delegate Patrick Young (District 44B)
Delegate Eric Luedtke (District 14)
Delegate Clarence Lam (District 12)
Delegate Aruna Miller (District 15)
Delegate Cory McCray (District 45)
Delegate C.William Frick (District 16)
Delegate Keith Haynes (District 44A)
Delegate Kumar Barve (District 17)
Delegate Antonio Hayes (District 40)
Delegate Marc Korman (District 16)
Delegate Jay Jalisi (District 10)
Delegate Jim Gilchrist (District 17)
Delegate Curt Anderson (District 43)
Delegate Al Carr, Jr. (District 18)
Delegate Shane Pendergrass (District 13)
Delegate Andrew Platt (District 17)
Delegate Terri Hill (District 12)
Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez (District 18)
Delegate Barbara Robinson (District 40)
Delegate Ben Kramer (District 19)
Delegate Marice Morales (District 19)
Delegate Sheila Hixon (District 20)
Delegate Charles Barkley (District 39)
Delegate Jeff Waldstreicher (District 18)
Delegate Bonnie Cullison (District 19)
Delegate David Moon (District 20)
Delegate Kirill Reznik (District 39)
Delegate Shane Robinson (District 39)
Delegate Diana Fennell (District 47A)
Delegate Will Smith (District 20)
Senator Karen Montgomery (District 14)
Senator Brian Feldman (District 15)
Senator Susan Lee (District 16)
Senator Cheryl Kagan (District 17)
Senator Richard Madaleno, Jr. (District 18)
Senator Roger Manno (District 19)
Senator Jamie Raskin (District 20)
Senator Nancy King (District 39)
Senator Bill Ferguson (District 46)

Here’s A Happy Update

Today’s been literally full of shit – bad, depressing stories involving cancer and Kirby Delauter. We needed a change of pace and here it is.

Remember the story about the U11 basketball team that got disqualified because – oh dear – there was a GIRL on the team? Well, Kymora Johnson and the Charlottesville Cavaliers got a chance to play somewhere way, way cooler than that stupid NTBA tournament – Madison Square Garden.

Two weeks after the Charlottesville Cavaliers were disqualified from the Boys Under-11 NTBA tournament for having a girl on their team, 10 year-old Kymora Johnson and her teammates stepped onto a bigger stage.

The New York Liberty flew the Cavaliers to Madison Square Garden to play an exhibition game Saturday night to shine a spotlight on Kymora, her team and the idea that girls can (and should) be able to play with the boys.

The team received a standing ovation from the crowd as they were introduced on the court. Members of the Liberty stuck around to watch and cheer on Kymora and her teammates during the 20-minute exhibition.

Kymora and her teammates wore gray t-shirts that read, “Girls Don’t Sit On The Bench” and the Liberty tagged the event #girlpower on its Twitter feed.

Good for the Liberty and the WNBA. That’s a memory that will last a lifetime for those kids. Boys AND girls.

  

Is Jeb Bush TRYING To Look Stupid?

If so, congratulations, dude. You did it. You managed to look worse on women’s issues than Donald Trump. That’s really quite a feat. 

On Friday night, Trump touched off a firestorm of controversy, saying in reference to Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, “There was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.” It prompted RedState’s Erick Erickson to disinvite Trump from an event for Republican presidential candidates in Atlanta on Saturday.

But Jeb Bush attended that gathering, stood alongside Erickson, and made a curious proclamation. ThinkProgress reported over the weekend:

Jeb Bush appeared at the RedState Gathering on Saturday and pronounced that Erickson was “on the side of women.”

 Erickson tried to distinguish his own comments from Trump’s by claiming he has apologized. But he only apologized for one sexist remark – referring to the first day of the Democratic National Convention, which featured female speakers, as the “Vagina Monologues.”

So, let me get this straight. Looking back over the last few days, Jeb Bush said, “I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues.” The former governor then made accusations against Planned Parenthood that were demonstrably untrue. He then stood alongside a right-wing media personality with a lengthy record of misogyny and said, “You’re on the side of women.”

 It’s almost as if the Florida Republican is trying to alienate voters.

Erickson is quite the charmer. Very restrained and soft-spoken. Never an unkind word. Hah. Just kidding.

In 2013, Erickson and Kelly locked horns over a comment Erickson made about women being scientifically inferior to men. Citing biology, Erickson argued that women have always played the non-dominant role to men — and that women who break that dynamic by working, or being the family’s primary breadwinner, have a negative impact on their children and their marriage.

“When you look at biology — when you look at the natural world — the roles of a male and a female in society and in other animals, the male typically is the dominant role. The female, it’s not antithesis, or it’s not competing, it’s a complementary role,” Erickson said during a Fox News panel in May of 2013, adding that having females as the primary breadwinners in a family is “bad for kids and bad for marriage.”

Defending his comments in a post on RedState a few days later, Erickson wrote that “women as primary breadwinners does make raising children harder, increasing the likelihood of harm in the development of children.”

There’s more charming comments from Erickson in the Think Progress piece. A lovely guy. But hey, by the standards of the guys Jeb Bush hangs out with, maybe Erick Erickson is as much “on the  side of women” as Jeb can imagine. Somebody better get him some binders, stat. I bet Mitt Romney still has a few left over.