For example, here's a lesson Republicans didn't learn:
[T]he House allowed the 18-year-old Violence Against Women Act to expire because, as Steve Benen writes at Maddowblog, "House Republicans insist the bill is too supportive of immigrants, the LGBT community, and Native Americans -- and they'd rather let the law expire than approve a slightly expanded proposal."
So after spending a good deal of 2012 insisting they aren't waging a War on Women—a war for which it was severely punished by women at the polls—Republicans decided that screwing over women is still a totally viable strategy for the party. Because the party did not heed calls, even from some of its own members, to just pass the damned bill already. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is still insisting that of course they want to protect women. Just, you know, not all of them:
“Majority Leader Cantor has worked hard seeking to move the bill forward so we can protect all victims and prosecute offenders,” Cantor’s office told Melissa Harris-Perry Thursday in a written statement. “The majority leader has been working with our members and directly with Vice President Biden to seek common ground across party lines and put an end to violence against women.”Shorter Cantor: Blah blah blah bullshit blah blah. Because there's really nothing to work out. The Senate easily passed the bill renewing VAWA, with bipartisan support, almost a year ago. Even Senate Republicans were able to recognize the no-brainer that this is. And it's not as if Senate Republicans are known for being, you know, reasonable. Except maybe compared to House Republicans, who are even worse.
So here we are, another year, another Congress, another chance to do the right thing. And House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wasted no time calling on Republicans to do exactly that:
The end of the 112th Congress makes it official: the Republican majority has refused to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. Their failure to move forward on a bipartisan approach to the VAWA Reauthorization leaves millions of American women without vital defense against domestic violence.There really isn't a moment to lose. VAWA must be renewed immediately. So, ladies and friends of ladies, you know what to do.
For nearly two decades, this landmark measure has brought violence against women out of the shadows, affording women protection against abuse and providing law enforcement with the tools to combat domestic violence. Over the past year, Democrats and Republicans worked to expand these protections to LGBT Americans, immigrants, and Native Americans, yet House Republican leaders failed to bring this bipartisan legislation to the Floor.
As the 113th Congress begins, let us honor our oath to protect and defend all Americans by ensuring a secure future for American women. Let us hope that Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle can very quickly work together to restore, enhance, and extend the provisions of the Violence Against Women Act.
This week's good, bad and ugly below the fold.
- I just have on thing to say about this: There isn't a hot enough seat in hell for people who think being good at football trumps being a rapist.
- Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-of course) sure is a sneaky son of a bitch, isn't he?
Gov. Bob McDonnell has certified health regulations that impose strict hospital construction standards on Virginia abortion clinics — triggering the next step in a multitiered approval process that could make the revised rules permanent by this summer.
Unlike the public relations ballyhoo that accompanies many executive actions, McDonnell, an anti-abortion Republican, certified the regulations and had them posted to the Virginia Town Hall website without a public announcement on the Friday between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
- In case you missed it, 2012 was not such a great year for reproductive rights. The only good news is that it could have been worse:
The forced-birthers continued with their merry crusade in 2012, chipping away at women's reproductive rights with 43 new restrictions on abortion in 19 states. According to the Guttmacher Institute's round-up, that's fewer than half the record level of 92 restrictions passed in 2011. And the reason is that there was considerable pushback from rights activists. But it's nothing to be relieved about despite some rearguard victories[.]
- This. Sooooooo this:
Despite the mission statements of pro-life, conservative political action groups like Feminists for Life and the Susan B. Anthony List and Sarah Palin's repeated use of the F-word, there is actually no such thing as a "pro-life feminist." Sure, you can be a feminist and make a personal decision to never get an abortion. But who the fuck are you to actively work at taking away other women's right to make their own personal decisions about their uteruses?Can I get an amen?
You are not a feminist, that's for sure.
On Feb. 20, 2009, an 18-year-old woman fell asleep in her bed with her boyfriend and woke up in the dark to find herself being penetrated by another man. Yesterday, a California court reversed the rape conviction of that man, Julio Morales, because the victim wasn’t married to her boyfriend.
- Well, this is a shame. Carmen Ortiz may not be a household name, but as U.S. Attorney for the state of Massachusetts, she's the state's top federal prosecutor and has handled a number of extremely high-profile cases, like the prosecution of notorious gangster Whitey Bulger, who awaits trial on 19 murder charges. When Ortiz was tapped for her current post by Barack Obama in 2009, she also set two firsts: She's not only the first female U.S. Attorney in Bay State history, but she's also the first Hispanic person to hold the job as well.
And, for a while now, she's also been coming up whenever anyone's made lists of names of potential Democratic candidates for governor in 2014, when the seat will be open. Even current Gov. Deval Patrick has reportedly talked her up as a successor. With her background, Ortiz would make a compelling candidate. She's exactly the kind of woman who would have been prominently featured in Mitt Romney's binders, if you know what I mean.
The bad news is that she isn't interested. In a recent interview, she said she won't run, adding that she's "thrilled" with her current job. Still, the race is a long way off, and if Ortiz ever decided to change her mind about seeking office, well, she certainly wouldn't be the first candidate to do that. (Cough, Barack Obama, cough.)
So keep your eyes on Ortiz, ladies and friends of ladies. She's definitely one to watch.
- I think I'm in love with Zooey Deschanel:
“I’m just being myself. There is not an ounce of me that believes any of that crap that they say. We can’t be feminine and be feminists and be successful? I want to be a f–king feminist and wear a f–king Peter Pan collar. So f–king what?”
- Your feel-good picture of the week. Oh, what the heck. Make that two feel-good pictures of the week.
Now go forth, sluts, and raise hell.