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Democratic Diva

Cathi Herrod’s very bad, no good week continues!

01 Jul 2016 02:49 pm
Posted by: Donna


Cathi Herrod, who heads the execrable Religious Right organization the Center for Arizona Policy, is a bigoted and contemptible human being, as we all know. But I have to say that I’ve always had a sort of grudging respect for her ability to remain resolute and unruffled even in the face of enormous amounts of (well deserved) public scorn. While I have heard numerous times that Herrod has an explosive temper behind closed doors, I can’t think of a time when I’ve seen her lose her composure in public.

She did respond to her critics after the 2014 election, in the most passive aggressive manner possible, through a now-infamous softball interview on Channel 12 Phoenix with then-anchor Lin Sue Cooney (warning: autoplay video at the link). But it seems the Supreme Court Texas abortion clinic ruling has really caused Cathi Herrod to flip her shit for all to see.

Herrod decided the other day that it was a good idea to respond to a column in the Scottsdale Independent by Angela Hughey, President of the pro-LGBT organization ONE Community. Hughey’s column was a heartfelt plea after the Orlando massacre to homophobes to stop perpetuating a “climate in this country that breeds anti-LGBT hate and demonstrative actions”. And she (rightly) called out CAP and the Alliance Defending Freedom (the right wing legal arm of CAP) for their crusade against LGBT rights.

The tl:dr version of Herrod’s rebuttal is her whining that Hughey is mean and why can’t the gays and other perverts find common ground with her people over the radical Islams being the worst and also, too, Christians should still be able to discriminate against whomever they want because freedom America.

But if you want to read the entire incoherent word salad of grievance and references to things most people aren’t following, enjoy!

Let’s not torch the witch just yet in the Tucson newscaster cocaine case.

30 Jun 2016 01:00 am
Posted by: Donna

This is something you should not use while pregnant or breastfeeding. Should you be prosecuted for it, though?

A couple in Tuscon who were new parents and also newscasters were arrested recently for being in possession of drugs and because their four month old infant was found to have cocaine in his blood.

Two former local TV personalities have been indicted in Arizona for child abuse after their 4-month-old baby was found with cocaine in its system, authorities tell PEOPLE.

A public information officer for the Oro Valley Police Department says Krystin Rae Lisaius and Somchai P. Lisaius – both news personalities in the Tucson area – were indicted June 9 on three felony charges: possession of a dangerous drug, drug paraphernalia and child abuse…

…Police said they were alerted after the couple brought the baby, who was showing signs of distress and appeared lethargic, to the Oro Valley Hospital on May 15. The couple allegedly refused to allow a blood test on the baby, who was then transferred to Diamond Children’s Center at the Banner University Medical Center in Tucson by ambulance, police said.

At Banner, a urine test was conducted after the parents again allegedly refused a blood test, police said. Toxicology results showed the presence of cocaine. (more…)

Cathi Herrod’s very bad, no good Monday

28 Jun 2016 12:56 am
Posted by: Donna

Oh, Cathi Herrod and Center for AZ Policy, never change! Here is CAP’s statement on Monday’s 5-3 SCOTUS decision invalidating a 2013 Texas law that placed onerous restrictions on abortion providers, under the laughably transparent guise of “protecting women’s health”:

Phoenix – “Today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt means women undergoing an abortion will not have the same common-sense safety precautions in place as they would for any other medical procedure.

That’s a lie. The laws passed by anti-choicers in Texas and elsewhere requiring expensive outfitting of clinics that provide abortions, even if only via medication, with hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment and wide hallways, etc., were not applied to other medical facilities.

To give the abortion industry a blanket exemption from laws applicable to every other medical facility is unconscionable.

Nope. Didn’t do that. The Court found that the Texas law placed an undue burden on women seeking abortions and that the “protecting health” justifications were rubbish.

Abortionists like Kermit Gosnell are celebrating today because they can continue to prey upon women and put profit above women’s health and safety. Gosnell is the abortionist who sits in prison today for operating a clinic that ignored basic health and safety requirements similar to those ruled invalid.

Kermit Gosnell: Patron Saint of anti-choicers. He was able to prey on low income desperate women in large part because of barriers anti-choicers put in their paths to safe, early terminations, among them the Hyde Amendment that prohibits Medicaid funding of abortion.

Women deserve better.

No shit. Hence the decision in favor of women’s access to health care and against nosy meddlers like the people at CAP and their counterparts in Texas and elsewhere.

Ultimately, the facts that abortion hurts women and takes the life of a preborn child will prevail. Those facts are irrefutable.”


They always get around to admitting that it was never about “women’s health” to begin with; it was about making it difficult for women to obtain an abortion. Shockingly, the SCOTUS majority saw that too.

Howie Fischer of Capitol Media Services has more from the lying liars:

“Nationwide, childbirth is 14 times more likely than abortion to result in death, but Texas law allows a midwife to oversee childbirth in the patient’s own home,” Breyer wrote. And colonoscopy, which he said normally takes place outside a hospital or surgical center “has a mortality rate 10 times higher than abortion.”

But Senate President Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, said the comparison among procedures is “fallacious and non-logical.”

“It isn’t their job to determine what and how regulations are imposed,” he said. “That is a legislative function.”

But Biggs, a Republican candidate for Congress, acknowledged he approaches the issue from a particular bias: He is opposed to all forms of elective abortion and wants to overturn the historic 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which concluded women have a constitutional right to abortion.

Herrod, who has consistently said all the laws her organization proposes are about protecting women’s health, also was not persuaded by Breyer’s points about unregulated childbirth being more hazardous than abortions.

“We can’t address every issue that’s out there,” she said.

Actually, Cathi, you could address that one pretty easily, if you cared about “protecting women’s health” as much as you say. Childbirth is the alternative to abortion that you want to impose upon women, so why wouldn’t you want that to be as safe as possible? The lack of concern for that is…telling. And Biggs just doltishly came right out with his own preference for banning abortion, despite prefacing it with a string of big words in a farcical attempt to make himself appear smart and statesmanlike.

While I do think that anti-choicers have convinced themselves that their cause is just and in the ultimate best interests of women – whom they believe uniformly have no legitimate aspirations in life aside from marriage and motherhood – it is clear that they never even believed their own bullshit on these “protect women’s health!” restrictions. So why should anyone else?

Feelings are not necessarily a solid basis for laws

23 Jun 2016 01:49 am
Posted by: Donna

venn diagram feelings laws
Helpful Venn Diagram to illustrate the ideal relationship between your feelz about something that likely has nothing to with you and what the law over it should be

I was disappointed to see AZ Republic‘s Linda Valdez had gotten lured in by the anti-pot hysteria, as she is now leaning against legalization in Arizona based on it. In a recent column Valdez repeated the usual logically fallacious and oft-debunked claims against legalization coming straight from the leader of the anti campaign, Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk.

Sadder still, the bad faith arguments and fear mongering were accompanied by Valdez blatantly appealing to emotion and seeming to operate from the assumption that her personal experience and perceptions are universal.

Arizona’s medical marijuana law is a farce that’s disproportionately used by young men who claim more pain than their years would justify in order to gain a steady supply of high…

…Sure. People have been seeking ways to get high for millennia, but legalizing marijuana is not the same as repealing Prohibition.

Alcohol was legal, widely used and commonly accepted before Prohibition. The same is not true of marijuana.

It continues to carry the taint – and counter-culture glamour – of being an illegal substance. You can have a glass of wine at Grandma’s Thanksgiving table. Passing around marijuana cookies is a different matter.

Making marijuana fully legal for adults represents a major step and a significant validation of use.

I really don’t care if adults want to smoke themselves stupid. But don’t forget: We all pay a price for layabouts and bad parents…


Why is it the DNC’s fault that young people aren’t voting?

21 Jun 2016 02:54 am
Posted by: Donna

voting rates 1964 to 2012
Looks like most of us have some ‘splainin’ to do about our voting regularity

DeRay Mckesson is a great activist, who is running for Mayor of Baltimore under a platform of civil rights, social justice, and reforming policing. I have no beef with him. I do think his statement about the DNC and youth outreach is misguided, though. And not just because of how, in recent months, the Democratic National Committee has been relentlessly characterized as corrupt, in bed with oligarchs, and engaged in election rigging if not outright election theft on behalf of Hillary Clinton, on the basis of zero evidence.

No, what I want to know is, why this sudden interest in young voters, who have never been particularly interested (statistically) in showing up for elections in most of our lifetimes? Hell, per the chart I posted atop this post, from this Census report, it appears that lots of not-so-young Americans (up to age 45 and above) have also been biffing off on election day from the mid-20th century on. I wasn’t exactly a regular voter until well into my mid-thirties myself, and I’ve prided myself on paying attention!

Here’s a Washington Post interactive tool that shows you just how bad it is.

Voter turnout is notoriously low in midterm elections compared with presidential election years, a trend that typically favors Republican candidates. Voters who fall into demographic groups that have traditionally been Democratic strongholds — young adults, African Americans and women — have wider turnout gaps than other groups, a challenge that Democratic candidates must negotiate every midterm election year.

This goes back decades, and I have a hard time believing the blame for it can all be laid on the DNC or Democratic candidates, who are trying to get elected with the voters who are likely to show up in the election. Not when Republicans made a concerted effort, starting in the Seventies (from my earliest memory) to make “Democrat” and “liberal” dirty words and the coolest kids in the media (looking straight at you guys like Lewis Black and Jon Stewart) ridiculing partisan political participation throughout the 90s and 2000s.

I do want the Democrats at the national and state level to be laser-focused on registering new voters, which is the best way for us to do the “outreach” that the naysayers insist we need to do, and it would sure help if said naysayers would stop trying to destroy the Democrats, such as by farting on Democrats, literally.

If you don’t like Democrats and don’t want to be one, fine. Do your own thing. Make your own party. Just don’t spend your entire life trashing, mocking, and maligning us, but then wondering why “the DNC” isn’t performing election miracles to your satisfaction.

Read this now about the Second Amendment!

17 Jun 2016 02:18 am
Posted by: Donna

Read every bit of this Storify stream of tweets.

So that when you get that catch in your throat, where you feel like you have to nod your head and agree with the frothing white man before you that, yes, oh yes, the holy importance of the Second Amendment, you can then catch your breath and say, no. No, white man, your Second Amendment is, was, and always has been racist bullshit.

Stuck with it we may be for now, due to the difficulty of changing the Constitution, but there’s no reason whatsoever for reasonable people to worship this awful throwback from a time when white men were expected to participate in patrols to hunt down runaway slaves. And there’s no cause to accept that angry (for whatever reason) people should have unfettered access to weapons of mass destruction out of a misguided adherence to Constitutional purity.

Republicans won’t be defeated by demolishing the Democrats

16 Jun 2016 02:13 am
Posted by: Donna

MSNBC’s Joy Reid pointing out an obvious and important truth

Despite the Democratic primary having unequivocally ended on Tuesday with Hillary Clinton’s sweeping victory of the very last contest in DC, Senator Bernie Sanders has refused to concede the race and his campaign is pressing for several concessions to his “revolution” at the DNC Convention, among which is calling for opening all Democratic primaries to “independent” voters even if the Republican ones remain closed. Joy Reid rightly notes that such a move, if it were even possible to implement in each state (where election laws vary), would grievously undermine the Democrats.

The argument in favor of this, from what I’ve been told by Sanders supporters stung by his loss, is that non-Democrats being able to vote in Democratic primaries would push the party in a more progressive direction. It is true that most unaffiliated voters actually tend to show strong party preference in their voting, along with their partisan counterparts, it’s a mistake to believe that only the left-leaning unaffiliateds would gravitate to open Dem primaries, especially if the Republican primaries remained closed.

This is the point New York Times political analyst Nate Cohn made in the tweet that Joy Reid responded to. We know that Bernie Sanders, despite his liberal stances that won him the support of more self-identified liberals, also did better with conservative Dem voters in heavily white areas. In most cases, this happened in fully closed primaries, while conservatives in states where voters can select any ballot tended to select Republican ballots. But when primaries are “semi-closed”, meaning open only on the Dem side, the conservative effect appears to be amplified.

Exit polls in Oklahoma, which allowed independents to vote in the Democratic primary for the first time, showed Mr. Sanders winning among people who wanted more conservative policies than Mr. Obama, or who trusted neither Mr. Sanders nor Mrs. Clinton in a crisis. These are probably not voters who are getting fired up for the Democratic revolution.

It’s possible that some of the Democratic voters showed up to vote for a Republican, but found themselves turned away.

Perhaps they showed up to vote in a local or statewide primary. Maybe some decided on mischief and were meddling with the Democrats.

Or, they might have simply wanted to register displeasure with a Democratic Party that has largely left them behind.

In 2012 Mitt Romney won 53% of “independent” voters in Ohio to Barack Obama’s 43%. Something to consider before throwing open Democratic primaries to those voters with an eye toward making the party more progressive. You could argue that making the party more conservative to appeal to unaffiliateds in swing states would be the way to go but that is the opposite of the argument Sanders and his most ardent liberal supporters are making in favor of opening primaries. I guarantee that those voters didn’t prefer Mitt Romney by ten points because President Obama wasn’t promising enough free college! Luckily, Obama won reelection in Ohio by three points on the strength of Democratic voters (38% of total voters, 93% of whom voted for him).

You don’t have to be a Democrat to be a progressive and you can certainly advocate for the environment, LGBT and reproductive rights, a living wage, etc., and just be involved in your community in a positive way without registering with any party. But there is one group in this country that is specifically organized in opposition to the Republican Party, and in favor of most of the things progressives support, and that is the Democratic Party. Allowing voters who refuse to join it a great amount of influence in selecting Democratic nominees in the hopes of defeating Republicans is folly. Democrats are herding enough cats as it is, without having to expend valuable resources trying to determine which of a bunch of lone wolves are on our side or not.