The red zone.

I don’t know what. I’m so tired, and yet furious. I slept badly last night because I was so angry. I’ve never had an abortion — although that’s none of your, or anyone else’s, goddamn business. My friends had them, oh yes they did. And because I’m old as hell, most of them had them before you had to walk a gantlet of screaming idiots to do so. But almost every one of them is a happy, well-adjusted mother of multiple children today. Successful. Confident. And (I’ve verified this) beyond regret over decisions they made when they themselves determined they weren’t ready to have a child.

And that’s what people like Justice Handmaid and Justice Rapist and Justice Steal-a-seat and Justice Strip Search can’t stand. The autonomy. (And when I say almost all of them are, etc., I don’t mean the ones who aren’t are messed up somehow. Some of them aren’t mothers, because they never wanted to be mothers. And still aren’t. Another thing that’s none of your business.)

God, I’m just furious. I’ve been furious all day.

As the Trump administration headed out the door, I thought back on its early days and came to the conclusion that Dems should have held their fire longer. The early “scandals” — OMG Kellyanne Conway put her bare feet on the Oval Office couch, OMG Ivanka has a West Wing office, etc. — burned people out to the point that by the time the really bad stuff arrived, voters were numb. I feel the same way about this. Yes, Roe will be overturned. Yes, probably same-sex marriage will be next. But no court is going to overturn interracial marriage or ban birth control, even though they believe those decisions rest on rotten foundations. In fact, they’ll use their tolerance of this fruit of the poison tree to show how reasonable they are, how hysterical it is to call them extremists.

And I just want to do something. Besides scream and be angry and pour another drink or write a check. If we’re two-thirds of the voting public, we need to do something.

Sorry, but I’ve been reading takes all day and I’m about taken out. And — as I might have mentioned — fucking furious.

Discuss? Discuss.

Posted at 8:15 pm in Current events |

59 responses to “The red zone.”

  1. Jeff Borden said on May 3, 2022 at 8:24 pm

    The darkest days are yet to come, but people of conscience cannot surrender. All of the above may come to pass. I fear the worst but balk at writing off young. The cards are heavily stacked against them thanks to the QOP and its zombie army, but I hope they rise to the challenge and save us from fashionable fascism.

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  2. Diane said on May 3, 2022 at 8:48 pm

    I am beside myself. The ship is sinking and if it doesn’t sink it will nonetheless take decades to right itself.
    God help me but I beginning to understand the concept of the Chinese reeducation camps. Faux news et al. has brainwashed so many people so badly I could understand sending them to a camp if they could learn to use their own brains and actually identify facts and analyze concepts.

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  3. Sherri said on May 3, 2022 at 8:55 pm

    SCOTUS has already said that companies don’t have to cover birth control (that’s what Hobby Lobby was about); what makes you think they won’t overturn Griswold? The nuts are running things now. After all, we have Federal judges appointed under Trump who won’t say that Brown v Board was correctly decided.

    If it doesn’t benefit and protect the status of straight white Christian men, it’s under attack. Period.

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  4. Dexter Friend said on May 3, 2022 at 8:58 pm

    ” But no court is going to overturn interracial marriage or ban birth control,”…

    That’s exactly what is in the lineup. Joy Reid was hinting at this on her show a couple hours ago. To me, it seems unlikely, but yeah, they are going to try. After that, they will keep at it until the democracy is done.

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  5. alex said on May 3, 2022 at 9:12 pm

    This shit has the potential to get the left as amped-up for the 2022 midterms as they were in 2018. And it had better. The Dems need to drive home the message that Alito’s logic (the Constitution doesn’t explicitly mention abortion, therefore it’s not a protected right) applies to pretty much everything, and if that’s the new standard, the only people who have rights are people who own guns and slaves.

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  6. Jeff Borden said on May 3, 2022 at 9:14 pm

    This may be how democracy dies…strangled to death by barbarians who fancy themselves patriots. It’s nor too late..but the fucking clock is tolling midnight.

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  7. Ann said on May 3, 2022 at 9:41 pm

    It’s the same sick angry feeling I had on election night 2016, when I knew this day was coming. I see all sorts of people saying this is going to drive people to the polls for the midterm but I don’t see it. Plenty of women are completely in favor of all this. They may have an abortion themselves, or helped their daughter get one, but they still believe that except in their own circumstances it’s murder and T—- was sent by god to save those innocent babies. I just saw this, on the percent of women in various areas of India who think wife-beating is okay and it reminded me again that we don’t need men to oppress us.

    Politically active gay men know what’s coming, and they’ll fight like hell for us, but I have zero confidence that it will prevent a Republican sweep in the midterms. And that would make this look like small stuff.

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  8. Dexter Friend said on May 3, 2022 at 10:05 pm

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  9. MarK P said on May 3, 2022 at 11:07 pm

    However bad this decision will be, it’s nothing compared to what is likely to come after it. There is real fear that other rights we have considered secure will be eroded. There is real fear that efforts by anti-abortion states to extend their authority to other states will be upheld. The Republicans may well have succeeded in destroying American democracy, no matter which party wins in the midterms. All they needed was a supreme court full of political hacks, and that’s what they have. Right now I don’t see a way out within the bounds of normal politics.

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  10. Minnie Fleming said on May 4, 2022 at 12:33 am

    I’ve poured another glass of wine. And another. I’ve scrubbed parts of the kitchen that haven’t seen such treatment in who-knows-when. I’ve talked to friends. I’ve talked to a sympathetic husband. Nothing alleviates the anger, the sorrow, the remembered horror. I do wish the shooting ranges weren’t full of guys trying to add and inch or two. Guess I’ll have to ignore them and practice up.

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  11. Dexter Friend said on May 4, 2022 at 2:00 am

    Tim Ryan won the Democratic side, of course
    Trump lackey sails to easy win: Ohio
    Candidate Votes Pct.
    J.D. Vance
    340,991 +32.2%32.2%
    Josh Mandel
    253,051 +23.9%23.9
    Matt Dolan
    247,042 +23.3%23.3
    Total reported

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  12. john (not mccain) said on May 4, 2022 at 4:06 am

    I have not the slightest doubt Uncle Thomas would vote to ban interracial marriage, then go home to the best head of his life.

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  13. David C said on May 4, 2022 at 6:08 am

    The worst is going to come from the meth labs of democracy, the states. They’re all going to try for turning your neighbors into Gladys Kravitz for cash. They’re never going to stop trying to top one another to see what they can get the court to accept and with Trumpy judges issuing nationwide orders from district courts they’re going to make some of them stick, at least for a while. We’re in for a world of hurt.

    There is hope. A Democrat in a special election turned a 60% Trump voting State Senate district in suburban Grand Rapids. The opponent seemed like a real asshole, but aren’t they all?

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  14. Alan Stamm said on May 4, 2022 at 6:34 am

    Anger overboils, yes. In addition to a multitude of reinforcing takes, I also read a few with tangents not realized before:

    * When Michigan’s Legislature refuses to toss its Depression Era abortion ban, will ambulance services be able to transfer abortion patients across state lines?

    * If a Michigan patient gets prescribed medication for an abortion in Illinois, must she stay there or can a Michigan OB-GYN treat her until the pregnancy is terminated? Would the doctor risk legal consequences?

    * Michigan Medicine at U-M fears a drop in OB-GYN applicants if it can’t continue abortion training, reducing OB-GYN quality overall in the state eventually because about 40% of graduates stay. “If we can’t provide care, we can’t train future physicians in this care,” the department’s associate chair tells Crain’s Detroit Business. “It would definitely impact who wants to come to Michigan to train. When OB-GYN programs do abortion training, the quality of their applications increases, so will we remain a top program in this country?” (UM is ranked fourth-best nationally for OB-GYN training by U.S. News & World Report.)

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  15. Mark P said on May 4, 2022 at 9:14 am

    Georgia Republicans are attacking Stacy Abrams, running for governor, for what she might have done if she were governor. Democrats now need to run against what the Republicans might do, given the SC decision — outlaw same-sex marriage, interracial marriage, overturn Brown v Board, institute poll taxes, let state A prosecute people in state B for violating state A laws. The last is not entirely insane because of the full faith and credit clause. That might actually let a Supreme Court full of liars and political hacks approve prosecution of a citizen of one state who violates a law from their state even in a state where the action is legal.

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  16. JodiP said on May 4, 2022 at 10:09 am

    I am one of millions who had an abortion–age 20–and never had a moment’s regret or guilt. I also decided around the same time I didn’t want kids and have also been super happy about that.

    This shit is all terrifying, and the fact that a large percentage of this country supports a party who actively tried to overthrow our government on January 6th boggles my mind every time I really think about it. The reality that there is a strong chance that party will take back the house and Senate is shocking to me, and of course an indication of what frightening times these are.

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  17. jcburns said on May 4, 2022 at 10:15 am


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  18. Mark P said on May 4, 2022 at 10:46 am

    Right you are. Stacey Abrams. One of the problems of posting from a phone.

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  19. nancy said on May 4, 2022 at 10:49 am

    As I recall, didn’t a couple of red states that share a border with Colorado try to sue them for legal weed? It’s-all-your-fault-we-have-weed-in-Oklahoma, etc.?

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  20. Richard said on May 4, 2022 at 11:14 am

    Justice Handmaid and Justice Rapist and Justice Steal-a-seat and Justice Strip Search:
    A little help here, please?
    I can easily identify three, but I’m not clear on who “Justice Strip Search” is.

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    • nancy said on May 4, 2022 at 11:18 am

      Sam Alito was referred to as “strip search Sammy” after he indicated he was OK with such tactics, even when a warrant didn’t authorize it. Link has background.

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  21. LAMary said on May 4, 2022 at 11:29 am

    The “abortion isn’t mentioned in the Constitution” statement is ridiculous but I’ve heard it so many times. I heard that Alito’s draft also referred to abortion providers as abortionists and fetuses as unborn children.

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  22. Jeff Borden said on May 4, 2022 at 11:32 am

    Strip Search Sammy is a real prick. His memo is striking for its sarcasm and condescension. And, hey, he cites an English judge who presided over several trials for witchcraft ending in the hanging of the accused as precedent! What a brilliant legal mind!

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  23. Mark P said on May 4, 2022 at 11:43 am

    The Supreme Court has been trashed so thoroughly that I don’t think it will ever recover the respect its members believe they are due. It needs to be reined in, but it would require a more solid Democratic majority, and Democrats with more spine. As it is, the justices, at least some of them, believe they run the country and are not answerable to anyone for anything, including obvious ethical violations that would not be allowed in lower courts. Packing is the answer.

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  24. Icarus said on May 4, 2022 at 12:22 pm

    The “X isn’t mentioned in the Constitution” argument is almost as bad as the “The Founders clearly intended Y” argument.

    Case in point: “The Founders clearly intended for members of Congress to meet, debate, and vote in person,” reads a March 7 letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signed by Greene and 37 other Republicans.


    So because a better method wasn’t available back then, we are stuck with it today despite improvements in technology? Yet at the same time, the 2nd amendment isn’t limited to muskets.

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  25. Jim said on May 4, 2022 at 12:38 pm

    Jennifer Rubin describes it well:

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  26. Suzanne said on May 4, 2022 at 12:55 pm

    This seems pretty damning but I doubt anything will come of it.

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  27. Sherri said on May 4, 2022 at 1:26 pm

    When you’re trying to evaluate what this Court will or won’t do, let me remind you of something I said here earlier.

    Brett Kavanaugh is the center vote on the Supreme Court. Brett Kavanaugh, who worked for Kenneth Starr to investigate Vince Foster’s suicide for three years and was the main author of the Starr Report on the Lewinsky affair. The same Brett Kavanaugh who was part of the Brooks Brothers mob in Florida to make sure the votes didn’t get counted in the 2000 election. A partisan hack now serving as the median vote on the highest court.

    And that puts John Roberts, who is in no way a liberal, to the left of Kavanaugh, simply because Roberts is an institutionalist, rather than a nihilist like the nuts to the right of Kavanaugh.

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  28. Scout said on May 4, 2022 at 3:23 pm

    I am so pissed about the SCOTUS betrayal that I can hardly see straight. How often did we hear the GQP scream about “Activist Judges! Oh Noes”? It’s ALWAYS projection with those people. Watch what they’re screaming about, and sure as shit, they’re the ones doing it. I seriously cannot take any more of this stress. That orange beast from hell and his flying dumbshit monkeys have destroyed us and it feels like there will never be a way to come back from it.

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  29. Jeff Borden said on May 4, 2022 at 4:04 pm

    If you’re not thoroughly disgusted by Strip Search Sammy, the English magistrate he approvingly cited in his memo –the guy who executed women as witches– also approved of marital rape. Of course he did.

    I’ll never understand women who embrace the QOP.

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  30. Deborah said on May 4, 2022 at 7:51 pm

    I was 22 when Roe was decided, it was hardly a blip on my screen. Weird but after attending a Lutheran College and being a Lutheran teacher after that, as my then husband was as well, abortion wasn’t a deal, Really, no one talked about it and not because it was impolite, but because it wasn’t a thing, in my circles anyway. I vaguely heard about illegal back street abortions and rusty coat hanger stories and knew that was awful, not because it was a “sin” but because those poor women were so desperate to change their predicament that they endangered their lives. Years after that it became a big deal obviously as a political cudgel. It’s amazing to me how the right exploited that and turned it into one of the biggest polarizing subjects in my lifetime.

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  31. Little Bird said on May 4, 2022 at 8:31 pm

    Eighteen years ago Deborah and I went to the March for Women’s Lives. We marched around DC with thousands of women and men. I still have two pins from that event and I put them on my jacket today. My friends on Facebook are all posting stories, links, and some incredible information. For instance, the Plan B pill has a weight limit. 155lbs. That period tracker apps are selling your information (one friend suggests that post menopausal women, and men should start one and fuck with the system), and reminders that forced pregnancy is literally a crime against humanity, and that NO one can take blood or organs from you to save their life or anyone else’s without pre-mortem written consent.
    This season of Handmaid’s Tale indeed sucks.

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  32. alex said on May 4, 2022 at 9:11 pm

    My parents were both pro-abortion and talked about it a lot when I was growing up. I think they felt compelled to explain it to us kids because Roe was such a big deal at the time. They drove home the idea that every child should be wanted and that every parent should be emotionally and financially prepared for the role. Also that fanatical anti-abortionists didn’t give a damn about children or their mothers so much as they relished putting on a moral superiority act and this gave them someone to look down upon.

    My dad used to say that the Republicans would never seriously do anything to outlaw abortion or they’d lose the only issue that animates election turnout in their favor. Well, it appears that it’s a fait accompli and the nutters are as agitated as ever and there’s no end in sight as the Republicans eviscerate the social contract by serving it up as a list of infringements on personal liberty.

    So the January 6 select committee was supposed to air hearings in May but it’s been kicked down the road until June. Some days I wonder if it will ever happen, and if it does, whether it will make a damned bit of difference come the elections this fall or two years from now.

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  33. Sherri said on May 4, 2022 at 9:38 pm

    I was in Southern Baptist world when Roe was decided, and it was a non-issue. I don’t think people really get just how much of a nonissue abortion was in evangelical world in the 70s. In the 80s, Paul Weyrich and Jerry Falwell and others figured out that they needed a political issue or organize evangelicals around, and evangelicals preferred to keep their racism quiet.

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  34. Jason T. said on May 4, 2022 at 10:44 pm

    Sometimes, when I’m in a more conspiratorial mood, I think, “Oh, this is why they’re legalizing recreational marijuana. They want to keep us stoned so we won’t realize how bad we’re being fucked.”

    Right now, I’m literally drinking moonshine.

    I’m really fucking tired of “Life in These United States,” 2022 edition.

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  35. Dexter Friend said on May 5, 2022 at 12:52 am

    Ever since I was born I have been exposed to nightly network news, and I recall one of the worst things about army training was that we were cut off from the news, so I had my baseball buddy from Chicago send me clippings of world news and sports news. Later, when Roe v. Wade hit the news, I was a civilian and had a TV and the news was totally dominated by abortion news, explained every which way on all 3 networks. Before this, in late 1971 my girlfriend’s high school brother had impregnated his 15 year old girlfriend. The parents on both sides chipped in and off they went to New York for an abortion. I was never involved in any discussions about this at all; I just knew it happened. I wondered at the time if better sex education could have prevented the pregnancy. The boy was 16 but was working a full shift as a restaurant cook at a burger place and had rented a furnished trailer, and he had a car. We visited a couple times…as soon as school was out for the day they’d say hello and off to bedroom they’d go and quickly after that he’d go to work. Crazy? The boy did not get along with his step-dad so the parents approved of the trailer arrangement. No one was really surprised by the pregnancy.

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  36. Mark P said on May 5, 2022 at 9:00 am

    Nobody except the antiabortionists thinks their position has anything to do with being pro life. It is as obvious as the nose on Pinocchio’s face that early sex education and free or cheap access to contraception would reduce unwanted pregnancies. But that’s not the point. The point is that pregnancy is god’s punishment for women who have sex, and preventing or ending a pregnancy subverts god’s will. That’s also why they feel no obligation or desire to adopt unwanted children or provide prenatal care.

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  37. Jeff Borden said on May 5, 2022 at 11:08 am

    Now, now, now.

    Rep. Matt Gaetz, the fine fellow accused of using Venmo to pay for sex with underaged girls, has stated the only people who are upset about Strip Search Sammy’s plans to overturn Roe v. Wade are sad, pathetic, cat ladies. This is an actual tweet by the twit:

    “How many of the women rallying against overturning Roe are over-educated, under-loved millennials who sadly return from protests to a lonely microwave dinner with their cats, and no bumble matches? ”

    If you have a uterus and you vote for Republicans, perhaps reconsider. This is the kind of shitheel you’re supporting.

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  38. LAMary said on May 5, 2022 at 11:36 am

    I didn’t think it was possible to have a lower opinion of Matt Gaetz. That comment proved me wrong. What an ass. Who votes for this guy?

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  39. Mark P said on May 5, 2022 at 11:41 am

    Who votes for Gaetz? People who think he’s clever. Ooh, he just pwned the liberalz.

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  40. Icarus said on May 5, 2022 at 11:51 am

    Who votes for Gaetz? My in-laws.

    The well-to-do ones in Gross Pointe vote GOP because of tax breaks. They are past their childbearing years but if their boys got anyone preggers, they can afford to quietly get an abortion.

    my BIL Jethro down here, who is a walking billboard for Fox News talking points votes GOP because he believes he is just a promotion or two away from being a rich elite.

    And my parental in-laws vote GOP because, while they have nothing against the good kind of black folks, they wouldn’t mind if we went back to them drinking from a different water fountain.

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  41. alex said on May 5, 2022 at 3:15 pm

    The media and everyone else have been complicit in letting those assholes call themselves “pro-life” and letting them pretend that they hold the moral high ground. This is why Democrats are always on the defensive. The correct term is “neo-fascist.” Say it with me now… “neo-fascist.” And they hold an annual March for Fascism. And they believe that Fascism begins at conception.

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  42. Sherri said on May 5, 2022 at 3:24 pm

    The governor of Texas can’t wait to get cases before this Supreme Court. You’ve probably never heard of Plyler vs Doe, which said, yes, Texas, public school means everyone, including undocumented children. Abbott’s had enough of that. Don’t abort that precious bundle of cells, but don’t expect us to pay to educate the child.

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  43. Deborah said on May 5, 2022 at 3:45 pm

    I hope this extremism backfires on the Republicans, how can it not? No, don’t answer that, like Trump they get away with so much crap. Did you read about the State lawmaker from one of the Dakotas that said the fetus’s life should be brought to term even if it kills the mother to give birth. The fetus is a more important life than the mother’s and there should be no exceptions to abortions, not rape, not incest, not to save the life of the mother, nothing. That’s just psycho.

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  44. Jeff Gill said on May 5, 2022 at 4:05 pm

    Re Sherri at #33:

    You’ll have to read the excerpt of the first, 1971 resolution, twice. Once you get it, you’ll follow the pattern.

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  45. Sherri said on May 5, 2022 at 4:16 pm

    1979 is when Paige Patterson and his cohort of conservatives took over the SBC and began the purge.

    The same Paige Patterson who was eventually fired from all positions at an SBC seminary for covering up rape.

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  46. susan said on May 5, 2022 at 4:32 pm

    I just watched an emergency ACLU “town hall” zoom about this pending SC decision, with four panelists working at the ACLU on this crisis. One, JJ Straight, had a final statement, something her grandfather—an immigrant from…Mexico? I think she said— often stated: “They tried to bury us, but they didn’t know we were seeds.”

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  47. Heather said on May 5, 2022 at 5:45 pm

    Megan McArdle is on Twitter like “miscarriages aren’t going to lead to prosecution” when THAT IS ALREADY HAPPENING. JFC these people are dumb, and none are dumber than white Republican women who somehow think they are going to get a pass on all this.

    I think this country is screwed. My boyfriend, trying to calm me down from images of civil war and The Handmaid’s Tale, said it’s more likely that we’ll devolve into city-states. Better, I guess, but still depressing.

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  48. Sherri said on May 5, 2022 at 6:59 pm

    People like Megan McArdle are clueless because they don’t understand the fundamental truth about conservatism, that it believes there must be an in group that the law protects but does not bind, and an out groups the law binds but does not protect. McArdle is unable to imagine being part of the out group, because she never says or does anything to disturb the in group.

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  49. David C said on May 5, 2022 at 7:39 pm

    For those not familiar with McMegan, this is a pretty good explainer.

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  50. Sherri said on May 5, 2022 at 7:59 pm

    I despise self-styled contrarians whose bold takes always uphold the current power structure, and McMegan definitely falls in this category.

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  51. Suzanne said on May 5, 2022 at 9:27 pm

    Christians didn’t give a rip about abortion until the likes of Jerry Falwell got involved and realized it was political gold. Get a copy of Jesus and John Wayne by Kristin Kobes Du Mez. It explains a lot.

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  52. Dexter Friend said on May 6, 2022 at 2:15 am

    Matt Gaetz walks free and is out there campaigning for others to cheers. Nothing happened to him despite strong allegations. His word was good, I guess. What to expect in a nation that , after 4.5 years of house arrest, Lt. William Calley was released on parole even after being convicted of murdering 22 Vietnamese civilians and shoving them into a ditch; the real count was over 100 people he ordered murdered in 1968 at My Lai. Life at hard labor was commuted to house arrest and Calley returned home to his Pall Malls and bourbon and 7up cocktails. Yeah, just thought I’d throw this tidbit in as just a week ago we marked the defeat of the USA when Vietnamese tanks rolled through the streets of Ho Chi Minh City and the USA helicopters were pushed off ships and into the South China Sea. 1975. April 30. Don’t mind me…I go, boomer. Fuck it all.

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  53. Deborah said on May 6, 2022 at 8:35 am

    I heard a 4 part Podcast where they interviewed Kristin Kobes Du Mez about her book Jesus and John Wayne. You are right Suzanne it explains a lot. I keep meaning to get the book maybe I will before the road trip.

    We leave for the airport soon, it’s very foggy in Chicago so I’m afraid our flight will be delayed or canceled. Maybe it’s only foggy by the lake.

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  54. Deborah said on May 6, 2022 at 9:43 am

    You folks in Indiana probably already know about this

    And just as I thought, our flight has been delayed an hour (so far). Thank goodness we hadn’t yet left for the airport when we got the notice.

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  55. Jeff Borden said on May 6, 2022 at 10:32 am

    Attention blue states: QOP leaders in the Senate already are talking about a federal ban on abortions. With the bought and paid for right-wing SCOTUS in their pocket, they’re swinging for the fences.

    Meanwhile, in Texass, the governor is pushing to have Strip Search Sammy’s gang review a law requiring the education of the children of undocumented immigrants.

    I despise these mean, ugly, backward motherfuckers.

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  56. LAMary said on May 6, 2022 at 12:02 pm

    If it was not required to educate children of undocumented immigrants I doubt that my father and his siblings would have any education at all. Luckily back when they were kids they were needed to work in the mills and some literacy was a plus.

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  57. Sherri said on May 6, 2022 at 12:08 pm

    Maybe this is my fault for not reading Hillbilly Elegy, but I had assumed that JD Vance had actually grown up in Appalachia. He’s no more a hillbilly than I am. He grew up outside of Cincinnati, definitely not Appalachia, culturally nothing like Appalachia. I grew up outside of Nashville, also not Appalachia, also culturally nothing like Appalachia.

    Just because you called your grandmother Meemaw doesn’t make you a hillbilly.

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  58. jcburns said on May 6, 2022 at 12:39 pm

    Middletown, Ohio isn’t Appalachia in my book, although a bunch of Appalachians may have moved there to get some work.

    Sherri, your outside-of-Nashville comparison is a good one.

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