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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}


#EndorseThis: Planned Parenthood Boss Says Trump Worst POTUS For Women’s Issues Ever

Donald Trump has done plenty to offend women before and after taking the Oval Office. From his outdated “bro code” attitude, to the abuse of female reporters, and the dark whispers of rape and brutality, The Donald has allowed his worldview to seep into the governance of social programs like Planned Parenthood. But it gets worse – he’s not the only Trump in the White House.

In today’s clip, Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood describes her heartbreaking final year directing the women’s health organization. Richards outs Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner for what was essentially a bribe-attempt in January of 2017. At a White House meeting, “Javanka” offered the civic leader more money and resources if PP agreed to stop providing abortion.

Richards told Ivanka and Jared to stuff it up their covfefe, telling the pair women’s rights are not for sale. Soon she had concluded that no administration has been as oppressive to women as the current one.

Click for a heroine’s take on a dark era.

Most Of The “Most Valuable Progressives” Named By ‘The Nation’ Have Endorsed…Hillary?

If like me you’re a longtime and faithful reader of The Nation — a venerable publication celebrating its 150th anniversary — then you probably saw its recent cover editorial endorsing Bernie Sanders for president. That lengthy essay, along with many other Nation articles over the past several months, leaves the unmistakable impression that Sanders is the only truly progressive choice for Democratic voters.

Yet just a month ago, The Nation published its 2015 Progressive Honor Roll, an annual feature written by John Nichols, who happens to be a highly enthusiastic Sanders supporter — which named several strong supporters of Hillary Clinton among America’s “most valuable” progressives. In fact, of the individuals named on Nichols’ list, nearly every single one is backing Clinton (one exception is Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell, “most valuable Cabinet member,” who must observe administration neutrality in the primary but — as a former top Clinton administration official — would very likely endorse her).

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), named “most valuable Senator,” officially endorsed Clinton back in January 2014. Rosa DeLauro, “most valuable House member,” endorsed her last April. Pam Jochum, the Dubuque Democrat who presides over the Iowa State Senate — chosen from hundreds of local pols across the country as “most valuable state legislator” — announced her support for Clinton last October. Cecile Richards, the Planned Parenthood president named “most valuable activist,” led her organization to back Clinton earlier this month (and earned a sour-grapes dismissal by Sanders as “the establishment”). Newark’s Ras Baraka, the “most valuable mayor,” hasn’t officially endorsed a presidential candidate yet, but his political organization has shown every sign of backing Clinton since last summer. And “most valuable memoir” author Gloria Steinem, the great feminist leader and thinker, will campaign for Clinton in New Hampshire tomorrow.

As voting approaches, primary rhetoric gets super-hot, and partisans inevitably utter silly, uninformed, and even offensive remarks about the opposing candidate. But it is worth remembering that progressives can differ honestly over which of these two candidates will represent the nation’s real interests most effectively.

Photo: Hillary Clinton, not Bernie Sanders, is getting most of the high-profile progressive endorsements.






Online Abortion Rights Movement Comes At A Cost

By Maria L. La Ganga, Los Angeles Times (TNS)

SEATTLE — Amelia Bonow is in hiding.

She left her apartment here after her address was published online and the death threats began. Her crime? She had an abortion. And after the U.S. House of Representatives voted on Sept. 18 to defund Planned Parenthood, she updated her Facebook status with a proud declaration.

“Hi guys!” it began. “Like a year ago I had an abortion at the Planned Parenthood on Madison Ave., and I remember this experience with a nearly inexpressible level of gratitude.”

She wrote about how “the narrative of those working to defund Planned Parenthood relies on the assumption that abortion is still something to be whispered about.” And how many people still believe that — “if you are a good woman” — you should feel awful if you have one.

But you shouldn’t, the 30-year-old wrote. And she doesn’t.

She signed off, “#ShoutYourAbortion.” And a movement was born.

Breast cancer had Betty Ford. So did rehab, and suddenly it was socially acceptable to get treatment for alcoholism. Katie Couric had a colonoscopy on national television 15 years ago, and screenings for colon cancer jumped 20 percent. But since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973 with the Roe v. Wade decision, the controversial medical procedure has been without a recognizable champion, a nationally known figure willing to publicly defend and explain an otherwise private issue.

These days, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America finds itself in need of such a defender. A video campaign surfaced this summer accusing the healthcare provider of selling aborted fetal tissue for research, which the organization roundly denies. Since then, conservative lawmakers have launched investigations, threatened to defund Planned Parenthood and, on Tuesday, grilled its president during a testy five-hour hearing.

The stigma surrounding abortion has kept most women quiet about their need for and use of the procedure. Few celebrities have jumped into the fray to publicly advocate for abortion rights by telling their own stories. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., is the rare politician who has told the world that she once had the procedure; she did so in 2011, during an earlier fight to cut funding to Planned Parenthood.

Republican Rep. Christopher H. Smith of New Jersey had just detailed on the floor of Congress how a second-trimester abortion looks on an ultrasound. Speier got up and declared that “the gentleman from New Jersey has just put my stomach in knots.”

“I’m one of ‘those women’ he spoke about just now,” she said. “I had a procedure at 17 weeks. Pregnant with a child that had moved from the vagina into the cervix. And that procedure you just talk about was a procedure that I endured. I lost a baby. But for you to stand on this floor and suggest, as you have, that somehow this is a procedure that is either welcomed or done cavalierly without any thought is preposterous.”

Speier became a brief political sensation, largely because her remarks were so rare. That 2011 battle gave birth to a Planned Parenthood campaign with the hashtag #StandWithPP, which has been resurrected this year as the health care provider remains under attack. The group launched another effort this week — #PinkOut — which coincided with Cecile Richards, the group’s president, going before Congress. In addition to efforts on Facebook and Twitter, the organization held rallies in 285 cities.

But none of these efforts has garnered the attention — both good and bad — that followed Bonow’s Facebook revelations, an ensuing Salon article and the #ShoutYourAbortion campaign she created with another Seattle resident, columnist Lindy West, whose upcoming memoir has the working title “Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman.”

Bonow calls herself a “liberal, pro-choice, loud, political woman” who is surrounded by a community of like-minded people, West among them. As the assaults on Planned Parenthood continued this year, she said, she and her friends realized that the abortion provider was still being threatened with losing its funding four years after the original campaign, and many women who’d had abortions hadn’t even talked about it to one another.

“We’re all women who think that stigmatizing abortion is wrong,” she said in a telephone interview from the city to which she decamped from Seattle after the threats began last week. (She requested it not be named.) “We don’t ascribe to it, and yet, in some way we have colluded with our silence.”

On the day the House voted, Bonow went to bed in tears. The next morning she woke up, called up her Facebook page and began to write the post to her 1,500 friends. West, who has more than 60,000 Twitter followers, tweeted the link to Bonow’s declaration.

Responses began to flood in, and Bonow followed her initial post with another: “In the last 24 hours, more women have shared their stories in comment threads, on the ShoutYourAbortion page, or on their own statuses than I have the ability to count,” she wrote. “This is what it looks like when people decide to challenge an oppressive narrative by raising their own voices and choosing to accept a new level of personal vulnerability as a sacrifice.”

And Bonow knows whereof she speaks when it comes to sacrifice. Not long after #ShoutYourAbortion began, the threats started flowing.

One reader retweeted her post from her Salon article that said, “My abortion made me happy: @ameliabonow shares the story that started the #ShoutYourAbortion movement.” He added: “If happiness is the standard, then it might make many people happy if @ameliabonow had her head crushed, too.”

There were others also in a hostile vein.

Bonow and her boyfriend spent several nights in a Seattle hotel. They headed out of town, returned and left again because she felt so unsafe.

On Tuesday, she got a call from David Hale, vice president of development at Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands, expressing concern for her safety.

He put her in touch with Planned Parenthood’s security guru, who connected her with the Seattle Police Department and the FBI. The hope is that they can help her assess the level of threat and that she can soon come home.

“It does take people who are bold enough and brave enough to stand up and say they won’t be intimidated,” Hale said. “The least we can do is arm her with what we’ve learned about how we have kept our patients and staff safe over the years.”

Bonow doesn’t think it’s every woman’s responsibility to raise her hand and tell her story if she has had an abortion. Some women are in abusive relationships or fear being shunned by family or church. She isn’t. She can speak up. And she plans to continue.

“We’re not going to be drowned out by the people who make me not want to be at my apartment now,” she said Wednesday afternoon. “Many women want to live in a world where you can say, ‘I’ve had an abortion, and I’m perfectly fine with that,’ and not have people saying they want to kill you.”

Photo: Jackie Speier, a congresswoman from California, is one of the rare politicians who has publicly said she has had an abortion, in response to another congressman who detailed the same procedure she had undergone in a hearing. Her comments caused a sensation, and whenever Planned Parenthood is under assault — as it is now — related hashtags build on that movement. Jackie Speier/Twitter

Late Night Roundup: The Mark of The Christie

Chris Christie sat down for an interview on The Daily Show — in which Trevor Noah asked where exactly he should get his stamp to track him as an immigrant worker.

Larry Wilmore looked at Tuesday’s congressional hearing on Planned Parenthood, and the many deceptive tactics used by Republicans — like that super-dishonest graph presented by committee chairman Jason Chaffetz — along with committee members barely letting Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards even talk all that much to answer their questions.

Larry also showed off the giant novelty check that Planned Parenthood doesn’t receive — but which committee members seemed to think it does.

Seth Meyers also highlighted the Planned Parenthood hearing — like the moment when Congressman Glenn Grothman seemed to argue that Planned Parenthood clinics were unnecessary because of all the health care he can access “as a guy.”

Stephen Colbert had this to say about all the talk that Donald Trump’s momentum might be stalling: “Don’t leave me, Donald! Don’t you understand? If you go away, I’m gonna have to talk about those other boring people. I’m gonna have to learn their names!”

Jimmy Kimmel talked politics with the legendary Don Rickles — who told the story of how Donald Trump once tried to sell him a mega-expensive condo.