‘Swut I been sayin.

Conservative Bruce Bartlett has a recent piece in the conservative magazine The American Conservative:

Obama Is a Republican
He’s the heir to Richard Nixon, not Saul Alinsky.

Longtime Loyal Readers™ will hardly be astounded by the headline, which at this point should be a self-evident fact. It’s the source that makes it worthy of attention. Bruce Bartlett served as a domestic policy adviser to Ronald Reagan and as a Treasury official under George H. W. Bush as a champion of “trickle-down economics“—or, as I like to call it “piss all over the 99% economics”—the dismal legacy of which is with us today in the form of record poverty, soaring inequality, rotting infrastructure and, not coincidentally, unprecedented power and profits for America’s Owners. For conservatives, of course, this is a right and just state of affairs. And Bruce Bartlett makes a pretty airtight case that Obama is one of his tribe.

I was going to quote Bartlett at some length here, but fuck it. You should just go read the whole thing. If you can stomach it.

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One more thing we feel we should note. We debuted this snazzy, slick, state-of-the-art graphic in July of 2011:

obamarepublicanFort the image accompanying the Bartlett article, The American Conservative has seen fit to create an obvious rip-off of our copyrighted intellectual property—and with no attribution! Worse, they apparently hired some hack who clearly knows nothing about snazzy, slick, state-of-the-art graphics to produce it:

obamaelephantThis is an outrage, people. Write your congresscritters today.

Conservatism kills.

A new video by some outfit called the Agenda Project Action Fund entitled Republican Cuts Kill is the kind of thing we’d like to see a lot more of. It takes the silly Ebola paranoia emanating from the right-wing cesspools of The Greatest Country EVAR and turns it on its head:

Of course as Loyal Readers™ well know, Republicans are hardly the entirety of the problem: conservative Democrats, including the Cutter-in-Chief, are equally worthy targets. Conservatism kills, regardless of who enacts conservative policies.

Relatedly:

ebolaGOP

“So far every case of Ebola in this country got it by helping people. So relax, Republicans, you’re in the clear.” -@TinaDupuy

I don’t know who this Tina Dupuy person is—but I like her style.

BREAKING: Influx of involuntary organ donors from Louisiana.

abattoir2Extraction teams standing by.

A piece by Alana Semuels and Maria L. La Ganga in the LA Times this weekend documents the coat hanger lobby’s template in Louisiana, the same state-level strategy it has been using to successfully shutter abortion clinics across the nation, most recently and devastatingly in Texas. While the article will likely offer nothing new to Loyal Readers™ here, it does offer up a fresh slate of involuntary organ donors, i.e. those would happily force others to donate lifesaving organs without their consent. Since they feel so very strongly about this principle, it is of course only right and fair that they live (or die) by it. Just think of all the lives we will be saving by extracting a kidney and maybe some skin grafts from each of these principled Americans:

  1. Charmaine Yoest, president, Americans United for Life
    Qualification: says of the successful state-level strategy of forced childbirth, “There wasn’t much opportunity on the federal level, so pro-life [sic] Americans said, ‘We are going to make a statement with the government that’s nearest and closest to us.'”
  2. Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana, Republican.
    Qualification: “has been so consistent in his opposition to abortion that the state is celebrated as the most ‘pro-life’ in the country by Americans United for Life.”
  3. Bill Shanks, anti-abortion protester and member of fundamentalist Christian group Operation Save America.
    Qualification: “This is like a victory celebration. Last time we came here, there were 10 free-standing abortion clinics. One by one, they’ve crumbled.”
  4. Benjamin Clapper, executive director, Louisiana Right to Life Federation.
    Qualification: well, he is the executive director of the Louisiana Right to Life [sic] Federation…
  5. Gene Mills, Christian pastor and head of the Louisiana Family Misogyny Forum (founded by fellow involuntary organ donor Tony Perkins).
    Qualification: publishes antiabortion scorecards on Louisiana legislators, distributes them to churches and encourages pastors to unconstitutionally speak out about elected officials in violation of their tax-exempt status: “We want to let [pastors] know that it is not the government’s right to limit your free speech even when you stand on the pulpit.”
  6. Katrina Jackson, Louisiana State Representative, Democrat.
    Qualification: Sponsor of Louisiana’s TRAP law requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at local hospitals: “I look forward to the day abortion is not legal in this country.”
  7. Warniesha Berry, garden variety asshole.
    Qualification: “if you close them down and there is no possible way to get an abortion, you’re going to think twice about having unprotected sex.” Hahaha nope.

Everyone, and that includes our new involuntary organ donors from Louisiana, knows these things:

coathangerAll of those who find themselves today unwilling participants in our groundbreaking involuntary organ donation program are well aware of these facts: these are features, not bugs, in their ideology and the laws spawned from it. Unlike our donors, we take no pleasure in enslaving and violently harming people. We do, however, take some small measure of satisfaction when justice is served fairly and equally to all people. Pregnant or not.

Welcome to the Abattoir, shitweasels.

Can liberalism be saved from Sam Harris?

Ooh, look, everybody. It’s Sam Harris saying some shit with no idea what he’s talking about. (Again.) In a post on his blog entitled Can Liberalism Be Saved From Itself? written in response to some altercation with Ben Affleck on the insufferable Bill Maher’s show, Harris is as determined as ever to blame the supposedly unique evils of Islam for jihadist terrorism. As it turns out of course, there are people (not named Sam Harris) who actually know a great deal about Islamic radicalization and terrorism, including:
  • The U.S. Defense Science Board Task Force;
  • MI5’s behavioral science unit;
  • forensic psychiatrist and former CIA officer Marc Sageman;
  • political scientist Robert Pape;
  • international relations scholar Rik Coolsaet;
  • Islamism expert Olivier Roy; and
  • anthropologist Scott Atran.

You see, these people—or experts, as the scientifically literate like to call them—have all “studied the lives and backgrounds of hundreds of gun-toting, bomb-throwing jihadists and they all agree that Islam isn’t to blame for the behaviour of such men.” (Yes, unfortunately, they’re almost exclusively men.)

I am not inclined to do a truly thorough fisking of Harris’s latest piece, partly because it is unworthy of my attention. Or anyone’s attention, really, because just like his fellow Horsedouche Richard Dawkins, he can never, ever be wrong about anything. More importantly, his writings are far too tedious—just achingly, agonizingly annoying—to render such an exercise any fun at all. Life is short, people. Today I have other priorities way more entertaining (like taking my recycling to the trash chute down the hall). But for my beloved Loyal Readers™, I will magnanimously take on one paragraph, as I think it reveals quite enough:

As I tried to make clear on Maher’s show, what we need is honest talk about the link between belief and behavior.

No, dear. What we need is honest and informed talk. What this means, of course, is that we can safely dismiss the opinions of people like Sam Harris who bravely ignore demonstrable facts and informed opinions. (Seriously, does this d00d get his information from frothing-at-the-mouth, wild-eyed “experts” on Fox News?)

And no one is suffering the consequences of what Muslim “extremists” believe more than other Muslims are.

This is true—a fact which should lead those concerned with the well-being of people in the Muslim world to investigate the actual causes of extremism, particularly the psychological, economic, cultural and structural factors that spawn it. To that end, in 2004 then-Shitweasel of Defense Donald Rumsfeld commissioned a report (pdf) from the Defense Science Board Task Force, which concluded (among other things):

American direct intervention in the Muslim World has paradoxically elevated the stature of and support for radical Islamists, while diminishing support for the United States to single-digits in some Arab societies. (p. 40.)

The report goes on to describe a litany of intersectional factors that support that conclusion in great detail, some of which are specifically relevant to Harris’s claims here (see below), and all of which refute his entire thesis. Just read page 40 of the report to halfway down 41, and you too can have the same understanding that the George W. Bush-era U.S. Defense Department did. This alone will immediately make you more knowledgeable on the subject than Sam Harris, who goes on to say:

The civil war between Sunni and Shia, the murder of apostates, the oppression of women—these evils have nothing to do with U.S. bombs or Israeli settlements.

From the same report:

Muslims do not “hate our freedom,” but rather, they hate our policies. The overwhelming majority voice their objections to what they see as one-sided support in favor of Israel and against Palestinian rights, and the longstanding, even increasing support for what Muslims collectively see as tyrannies, most notably Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan, and the Gulf states. (p. 40) [emphasis added.]

NOTE: unlike most Americans, the majority of people of the Muslim world are under no illusions about exactly what the U.S. has been doing in the region—including supplying “friendly” tyrannical regimes with U.S. made weaponry. Unsurprisingly, the report continues:

American actions and the flow of events have elevated the authority of the Jihadi insurgents and tended to ratify their legitimacy among Muslims…What was a marginal network is now an Ummah-wide movement of fighting groups. (p. 40) [emphasis added.]

Harris continues:

Yes, the war in Iraq was a catastrophe—just as Affleck and Kristof suggest. But take a moment to appreciate how bleak it is to admit that the world would be better off if we had left Saddam Hussein in power.

Perhaps Sam Harris might take a moment to appreciate how bleak it is to admit that the world would be better off if the U.S. had not put and kept Saddam Hussein in power and armed his regime for so long? I’ma just state the bloody fucking obvious here: any thought that begins with “Yes, the war in Iraq was a catastrophe” followed by the conjunction “but” can be rejected out of hand. There is no silver lining there (unless you are an oil company). And especially not for Sam Harris to use the tragedy of possibly the most strategic military blunder the U.S. has ever made to slam the evil Muslims, as opposed to, oh I dunno, say, decades of U.S. foreign policy in the region.

Next, Harris says about our longtime ally Saddam Hussein:

Here was one of the most evil men who ever lived, holding an entire country hostage.

Yes. Over just ten years under Saddam’s regime:

  • Iraqi civilian death counts range from 250,000 to over one million, based on the most reliable estimates.
  • almost two million Iraqis—some 10% of the population—became refugees from their country (arguably the largest refugee crisis in Middle Eastern history).
  • five million were “internally displaced”—read: rendered homeless.
  • infrastructure and social fabric of Iraqi society was completely demolished, unleashing sectarian violence the likes of which Iraq had never before seen.
  • Unsurprisingly, chronic psychological trauma and post-traumatic disorders are widespread.

Oh wait, no. Those are the consequences of the U.S. invasion and occupation, which astute readers may recall were sold to the U.S. public with deliberate lies by the Bush administration, with an able assist from their servants in the media.

That Saddam sure was evil, though. The evilest, like, EVAR.

Finally, Harris says this:

And yet his tyranny was also preventing a religious war between Shia and Sunni, the massacre of Christians, and other sectarian horrors. To say that we should have left Saddam Hussein alone says some very depressing things about the Muslim world.

Why, it’s almost as it Harris has no concept of history, let alone the known causes of radicalization and terrorism—by Muslims or otherwise. He is also apparently under the bizarre impression that either (a) leaving Saddam Hussein “alone,” or (b) destroying the entire country and the lives of millions of innocent people, were the only two paths available to the richest, most militarily advanced country in the world—ever. That speaks for itself.

Glancing at my feeds, I see that others have already taken on more of his latest rant, in which they will have found many more examples of his historical and scientific ignorance, petty histrionics and easily demolished factual inaccuracies. (For a takedown of Ben Affleck’s part in this clusterfuck, and without endorsing all of it, see here.)

If I seem rather irritated by this story, well, that’s because I am. I am disinterested beyond words in any panel discussion about Islam and terrorism between three wealthy, Western, white d00ds—with zero connection to Muslim communities, with not even a minimal grasp of the extensive scholarship on the subject of radicalization and terrorism—having a dick-measuring contest on national TV. Anyone paying them the slightest bit of attention on this subject really ought to ask themselves: why? Now if you will excuse me, after the tedious simplicity of debunking Sam Harris’s pet hobbyhorse, I am excitedly looking forward to inspecting my bellybutton for lint.

I will leave you with one question: Can liberalism be saved from Sam Harris?

Hahaha! I kid, I kid! Thanks almost entirely to Democrats (e.g. the Clintons, Barack Obama, Steve Israel, Steny Hoyer, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, etc.), the “liberal” media, and of course “liberals” like Sam Harris, liberalism in the U.S. has been dead for a very long time.

Have a nice day.

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* For those who may be interested in honest and informed talk on the subject of Islamic radicalization, jihadist movements and Muslim terrorism, please see:

Recent reading.

library4

A First: Uterus Transplant Gives Parents A Healthy Baby. Chappell, B., NPR (Oct. 2014). [This is awesome news! We need to start implanting uteri into anti-choice men a.s.a.p., people. Free abortion clinics will suddenly become as ubiquitous as Starbucks! -Ed.]

A New Nuclear Arms Race: Why Peace Activists Must Wage an Open Battle Against the Democratic Party. Tucker, S., Truthdig (Oct. 2014).

Former SC GOP director: Execute anyone who comes into contact with Ebola — ‘it’s just math’. Kaufman, S., Raw Story (Oct. 2014). (Also: “The people of Africa are to blame for why it’s so shitty. They could stop eating each other and learn calculus at any time.” “We should put Wendy Davis’ vagina in charge of the Ebola outbreak. It will kill all of them without mercy and go to Nordstrom’s afterwards.” Well, he seems nice. Also: I’d like a vagina with these superpowers now plz. Because OMG Nordstrom’s! HELLO? -Ed.)

A Look Inside the Fake Abortion Clinics That Are Greatly Outnumbering Real Ones. Figueroa, A., AlterNet (Oct. 2014). (“Your tax dollars are funding religiously affiliated, medically inaccurate centers focused on preventing women from accessing abortion services.”)

An Orangutan Learns to Fish. Jabr, F., The New Yorker (Oct. 2014).

Indiana trooper pulled over woman to ask if she’d accepted Jesus Christ as her savior: lawsuit. Gettys, T., Raw Story (Oct. 2014). (“Indiana State Police said there was no specific policy against troopers handing out religious materials.”)

Louisiana Parish Claims Incarcerated 14-Year-Old Consented to be Raped by a Corrections Officer. McDonough, K., AlterNet (Oct. 2014). (“These girls in the detention center are not Little Miss Muffin,” remarked one official.)

Cops Pulled Gun, Tasered Passenger During Traffic Stop: Suit. Lutz, BJ. et al., NBC Chicago (Oct. 2014). (VIDEO -may start playing automatically at the link).

2013 World Happiness Report. Helliwell, J. et al, eds. (pdf).

Right-Wingers In NC Public Schools Indoctrinating Children With Bible Classes. Anonymous, Crooks & Liars (Oct. 2014).

Why Aren’t Women Advancing At Work? Ask a Transgender Person. Nordell, J., New Republic (Aug. 2014) (“Having experienced the workplace from both perspectives, they hold the key to its biases.” Very interesting. -Ed.)

Ayn Rand’s Continued Influence Adds a Bizarre Twist to Conservative Politics. McMurry, E., AlterNet (Oct. 2014). (“Despite her clearly psychopathic theories and actions, she is still celebrated by leading right-wingers.”)

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POSTED NOTICE: Acquisition of links for the Palace Library does not imply the Palace’s 100% agreement with or endorsement of any content, organization or individual.

Recent reads.

library4

The Last Gasp of Climate Change Liberals. Hedges, C., Truthdig (Aug. 2014). [h/t SJ]

Errors and Emissions: Could Fighting Global Warming Be Cheap and Free? Krugman, P., The New York Times (Sep. 2014).

The Coming Climate Revolt. Hedges, C., Truthdig (Sep. 2014).

A Guide for Men with Good Intentions. xenologer,  Dissent of a Woman (Aug. 2012).

White Fragility. DiAngelo, R., International Journal of Critical Pedagogy, Vol 3 (3) (2011). (pdf)

The racial divide in America’s gun deaths. Ferdman, R.A., The Washington Post (Sep. 2014).

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NOTE: The acquisition of links for the Library does not imply the Palace’s 100% agreement with or endorsement of any content, organization, source or individual.

America’s Owners accelerate ownership of Congress.

WaPo reports on the uptick in wealthy donor contributions to candidates and PACs since the Supreme Court Injustices did away with individual limits in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission:

Together, 310 donors gave a combined $11.6 million more by this summer than would have been allowed before the ruling. Their contributions favored Republican candidates and committees over Democratic ones by 2 to 1.

Uh-oh! You know what that means: we “leftee” gazillionairez can haz moar konservativ demacratz nao plz.

“I would think everybody would be for more money in politics like I am, because we’re just spreading speech” -Shaun McCutcheon, the chief executive of an Alabama electrical engineering firm who brought the Supreme Court case.

Sure! Everybody! Well, except perhaps the vast majority of Americans who have no fucking money to buy congresscritters—and who, by Mr. McCutcheon’s and the Supreme Court’s “money is speech” decree, are for all intents and purposes silenced.

wealthdistributionpiechart14Have a nice day.

 

With Dems like these, Part 9,427,303.

WHAT.

Running as a Dem, sounding like a Republican

It’s one thing for Democrats running in red parts of the country to sound like Republicans on the campaign trail. It’s another when Democrats running in purple or even blue territory try to do so.

Yet that’s what’s happening in race after race this season.

Democrats are trotting out campaign ads that call for balanced budgets, tax cuts and other more traditionally GOP positions. Some of them are running in congressional districts that just two years ago broke sharply for President Barack Obama.

Whether the Democrats running in those districts can survive what party strategists acknowledge is a deteriorating national political environment will largely hinge on how well they can appeal to more conservative voters.

Colorado Democrat Andrew Romanoff, who’s running in a district that Obama won in 2012 and 2008, has started airing a commercial that strikes a tea party theme.

New Hampshire Rep. Ann McLane Kuster, whose district broke for Obama by a yawning 11-percentage-point margin in 2012, is running an ad that touts her support for small-business tax cuts while showing her touring a local microbrewery. Separately, former Iowa state Sen. Staci Appel, in a district Obama won by 4 percentage points two years ago, underscores her record of fighting overspending in state government, a populist theme often heard from tea party-aligned conservatives.

Democratic Rep. Ron Barber, in a swing southern Arizona district that is slightly more conservative than the others, uses his first TV spot to highlight his support for increasing border security funds. The ad — complete with the image of a border patrol car — doesn’t mention elements of immigration reform that are typically more popular among Democratic voters.

Like the commercials aired by Romanoff, Kuster and Appel, Barber’s doesn’t mention his Democratic Party affiliation.

That’s right, people: Democrats are apparently attempting to win elections even in districts that went for Obama by appealing to conservative and Tea Party voters. This effort is doomed for a number of reasons, not least of which is that given a choice between a Conservadem and an actual Republican—no matter how crackpot or corrupt—conservative voters will pick the Republican every time. These are people who think Obama is a socialist, FFS. And meanwhile, given a choice between a Conservadem and a Republican, alienated liberal voters will stay home.

Now this strategy may seem spectacularly stupid to you (for good reason), but that can be true only if you think the leadership of the Democratic party actually wants to elect progressive Democrats to congress, or indeed win a Democratic majority at all. Since the Politico article excerpted above quotes anonymous “party strategists” as sources, I think it’s worth reviewing the Palace archives for what we know about some of these fine people.

Steve Israel, Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) since January 2011 (hand-picked by Nancy Pelosi); co-chair and founder of the Center Aisle Caucus since 2005.

Along with his BFF Illinois Republican congresscritter Tim Johnson, Steve Israel co-founded the Center Aisle Caucus (or “caca,” as I call it). Caca claims roughly sixty members, although the number is impossible to verify because membership is sooper seekrit. Caca members fancy themselves “defiant centrists” (or “conservatives,” as I call them). This would be terrible enough considering how far to the right the so-called “center” has drifted. But it’s really much worse than that: caca members observe an unwritten bylaw to never engage in political campaigns against other caca members. If sixty members is about right, that takes roughly thirty congressional races right off the table for the Dems, courtesy of… the chair of the DCCC.

Neither the DCCC nor its PAC spent a single dollar on Democrat Jim Graves’ campaign against Michele Bachmann, Tea Queen of Right-Wing Kookville, in a winnable race. Michele Fucking Bachmann. Instead, they poured an average of $1,710,159 into each campaign of a slate of conservative Democrats (“Blue Dogs” and “New Dems”) running against Republican backbenchers and nobodies. Likewise, neither the DCCC nor its PAC gave a single cent to Rob Zerban, the progressive Democrat running against Paul Ryan—Paul Ryan!—(a.k.a. Satan) in yet another winnable race.

“As Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, it’s my job to support the strongest Democratic challengers running for Congress.”
-DCCC Chairweasel Steve Israel in a fundraising email to Iris Vander Pluym, July 28, 2014.

Hahaha. Sure it is, d00d.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC); Florida congresswoman.

A few years ago Wasserman Schultz was chosen to head the DCCC’s “Red to Blue” program, a job that consists entirely of targeting Republican-held districts across the country that are potentially within reach for Democrats. What did she do? She protected three right-wing Florida Republicans, and publicly sabotaged the campaigns of the three Democrats running against them. The donor backlash was so fierce that after a lot of hemming and hawing, the DCCC finally had to cut her loose from the Red to Blue program. So the party leadership gave her a promotion: that’s how she came to head the DNC.

I wrote about one of her brilliant leadership initiatives here, wherein she urged supporters to vote on one of three awe-inspiring designs for car magnets:

DNCdesigns“Not a Republican.” Jeezus.

Is the Democratic leadership incompetent? Again, perhaps you can make that case, but only if you think the power center of the Democratic party actually wants to elect progressive Democrats, or even win an electoral majority at all.

Occam’s Razor suggests an entirely different view. Three actually, although they are interrelated. First, up until Michele Bachmann announced her retirement, I’d bet that she was the single largest cash generator for the Democratic Party in history. Nearly every Dem campaign email had her name in it; she was the gift that kept on giving to the coffers of the DCCC every time she opened her mouth (“Did you hear X outrageous thing Bachmann said now?! OMG send money!”). In the runup to the 2012 presidential election, the role of Bachmann the Bogeyman was played by Satan Paul Ryan, who is once again the star of the Democratic shit show. Here’s a recent popup ad on The Nation site:

paulryanDCCCA second benefit for the DCCC in keeping these shitweasels in power is that they are so far off the right-wing rails they make these craven, corporatist, conservatives that Steve Israel and Debbie Wasserman Schultz are determined to shoehorn into the House Democratic caucus look like flaming Marxists by comparison. It’s a losing strategy, especially in midterm elections, and everyone knows it.

Which brings me to my third observation, and underlies the first two: I think the parties agree on more than they say they do. A lot more. As I said before:

In the case of Paul Ryan, however, they want him in Congress for reasons that go well beyond scaring the Democrats on their email lists into forking over a few bucks, and even beyond making their awful budget priorities appear liberal by comparison to Ryan’s. In a rare slipup in which we rubes got a little peek behind the curtain, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-Wall $treet) received a rather telling tweet from his spokeperson, Brian Fallon:

fallonschumertweetBrain Fallon: “.@ChuckSchumer: It’s nice to see Paul Ryan back on Capitol Hill. It’ll be even nicer to see him back in House full-time after the election”

At the time, digby noted: “I’m sure Schumer really does want Ryan back in congress. They have so many ‘interests’ in common.” Indeed they do. Schumer’s Wall $treet benefactors are as eager to get their hands on the Social Security trust fund purely for profit reasons as Paul Ryan is eager to give it to them for ideological ones.

morpheusDespite having caused the financial crisis, the same financial firms “are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they, frankly, own the place.”
-Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), 2009 radio interview.

Dear Governor Cuomo.

Can you imagine hundreds of earthquakes in and around New York City? It already lies on unstable faults. It’s bad enough my once-lovely home state of Pennsylvania is a fracked-up nightmare, and borders New York. I know the pressure on you to allow fracking must be enormously intense. But as more and more data pile up of the horrors associated with the industry, it won’t be long until even conservatives will understand the dangers. Please be on the right side of history and keep New York State frack-free.

Report: Sharp increase in central Oklahoma seismicity since 2008 induced by massive wastewater injection. Keranen et al., Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1255802 (Jul. 2014).

Mattel finally comes through for American girls with new Abortion Barbie.

[CONTENT NOTE: misogyny, racism, hostility to agency and bodily autonomy, anatomical misinformation, grotesque shitweaselry, lethal levels of sarcasm.]

Wendy Davis, as Loyal Readers™ may recall, is a Texas state senator who famously filibustered a draconian anti-abortion bill for 11 hours. The recipient of the highly coveted Perry Street Palace Major Award™ for Filibuster of the Day, she is currently running for governor of the Lone Star State. Yesterday, she attended a big ticket fundraiser held by supporters in Los Angeles, where she was greeted with a massive poster campaign by conservative activist Kathryn Stuard Mattel announcing their new Abortion Barbie, created and named in her honor!

abortionbarbieIt appears that conservative Republican street artist Sabo Mattel may have rushed production of the new line of Barbie dolls in order to make this fundraiser deadline. I say this because unlike all the other Barbies Mattel has ever produced, this one comes topless, wearing only a purple bikini bottom. In addition, the inclusion of a pair of scissors is puzzling; I assume Mattel just couldn’t get the traditional coat hanger accessory manufactured in time. It’s a real shame they missed the boat on that one, because this would have been a fantastic opportunity for little girls to get an authentic sense of what it’s like to experience an unwanted pregnancy in parts of Texas, Missouri, Kansas, and many other Southern and Midwestern states. Hopefully Mattel will update the accessories on the next production run.

Abortion Barbie comes with not one but two full-term sized fetuses. A white one is visible in her open body cavity, but located where her stomach would be even during pregnancy. Of course, Barbie has been under withering criticism for decades now because of her bizarre anatomical proportions and the resulting body image distortions impacting young girls, so I guess this is really not all that surprising. Still, promoting this kind of misinformation about the location of women’s reproductive organs is not helpful, Mattel. There is also a black full-term fetus that Abortion Barbie is holding so its head lines up perfectly between the open blades of the scissor, which is more than a little disturbing if not downright Gosnellesque. (I’m sure it would have been a much better placement with the coat hanger, which unfortunately did not arrive in time for the big product launch yesterday.) It is not clear whether the white and black full-term fetuses can be swapped out before little girls help Abortion Barbie terminate her unwanted pregnancies, but I sure hope so!

Finally—and this is really a nitpick—terminating a near-full-term pregnancy means giving birth, either by Cesarian section or vaginal delivery. Late-term procedures are virtually always performed due to a serious threat to the health of the mother or the fetus (or both), yet Abortion Barbie and her fetuses all appear to be in excellent health. Still, you really have to hand it to Mattel for making such a bold pro-choice statement and honoring Wendy Davis with Abortion Barbie, just in time for her big L.A. fundraiser. Kudos!

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For my more literal minded readers: OF COURSE MATTEL DID NOT RELEASE AN ABORTION BARBIE. One can only hope they sue the shit out of conservative activist Kathryn Stuard and Republican street artist Sabo.