Happy (Forced) Mother’s Day!

[NB: check the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]

Hope all of the mothers in our community are having a restful Sunday, whether mothers in fact or mothers of invention.

Not wishing a happy day to this senator, however.

Remember this GOP senator’s freakish fundie-speak rebuttal to President Biden’s State of the Union? She’s back with an attempt to move this country ever closer to Gilead of The Handmaid’s Tale.

She and 13 co-sponsors — Sen. Rubio (R-FL), Sen. Cramer (R-ND), Sen. Daines (R-MT), Sen. Grassley (R-IA), Sen. Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Sen. Marshall (R-KS), Sen. Moran (R-KS), Sen. Ricketts (R-NE), Sen. Rounds (R-SD), Sen. Schmitt (R-MO), Sen. Tillis (R-NC), Sen. Wicker (R-MS), and Sen. Lankford (R-OK) — submitted S.4296, the “More Opportunities for Moms to Succeed Act,” a.k.a. the “MOMS Act” this past week.

As Salon and the Guardian reported, the bill creates a database which allows the federal government to track persons who use a government-developed and hosted website, “pregnancy.gov,” while seeking information and resources related to pregnancy.

The bill may initially look innocuous to those who aren’t familiar with how websites work, but one doesn’t have to read very deeply to see this is horrifying:

11 “(a) WEBSITE. — Not later than 1 year after the date
12 of enactment of this section, the Secretary shall publish
13 a public website entitled ‘pregnancy.gov’. The Secretary
14 may not delegate implementation or administration of the
15 website below the level of the Office of the Secretary. The
16 website shall include the following:
17 “(1) A clearinghouse of relevant resources
18 available for pregnant and postpartum women, and
19 women parenting young children.

[page] 3
1 “(2) A series of questions through which a user
2 is able to generate a list of relevant resources of in-
3 terest within the user’s zip code.
4 “(3) A means to direct the user to identify
5 whether to list the relevant resources of interest that
6 are available online or within 1, 5, 10, 50, and 100
7 miles of the user.
8 “(4) A mechanism for users to take an assess-
9 ment through the website and provide consent to use
10 the user’s contact information, which the Secretary
11 may use to conduct outreach via phone or email to
12 follow up with users on additional resources that
13 would be helpful for the users to review.

The server on which the website is hosted would capture the user’s IP address. That’s normal for all web servers. Because we don’t have a national standard curriculum for computers and networks, the average American will not understand they shed this information whenever they visit any website.

If the prospective user then seeks any resource near them, they may not only validate their physical location but pregnancy or postpartum status.

Someone from Health and Human Services could follow up with them — *shudder* — although the bill gives a weak nod to consent.

If they speak other than English — think asylum seekers here — their ethnic/national identity might be deduced by this bit on page 5 of the bill:

4 Secretary shall ensure that the website provides the widest
5 possible access to services for families who speak lan-
6 guages other than English.

Worse, all this data will be reported to Congress:

8 “(1) IN GENERAL.— Not later than 180 days
9 after the date on which the website is established
10 under this section, the Secretary shall submit to
11 Congress a report on—
12 “(A) the traffic of the website;
13 “(B) user feedback on the accessibility and
14 helpfulness of the website in tailoring to the
15 user’s needs;
16 “(C) insights on gaps in relevant resources
17 with respect to services for pregnant and
18 postpartum women, or women parenting young
19 children;
20 “(D) suggestions on how to improve user
21 experience and accessibility based on user feed-
22 back and missing resources that would be help-
23 ful to include in future updates; and

[page] 6
1 “(E) certification that no prohibited enti-
2 ties are listed as a relevant resource or are in
3 receipt of a grant under subsection (b)(3).
4 “(2) CONFIDENTIALITY.— The report under
5 paragraph (1) shall not include any personal identi-
6 fying information regarding individuals who have
7 used the website.

The confidentiality requirement is a fucking joke. Once this data is released to Congress, it’d be far too easy to hunt down the users. It’s yet another opportunity to breach users’ privacy, just like every other website and application for any purpose.

There’s nothing helpful about this at all. It’s a means to allow the federal government directly into women’s uteruses across the country, not exactly small government.

This also blows away the idea of states’ rights when it comes to regulating reproductive rights, though the states are supposed to provide the contact information of approved Gilead resources to be offered through this national website. If states want to offer pregnancy or postpartum resources they can do that through state health departments. They don’t need the feds harvesting this data in a central repository.

The really aggravating part about this bill? The creation of yet more federal and state government bureaucracy intended to get deep into mothers’ and prospective mothers’ crotches, while a non-governmental solution has existed for years with federal support through block grants, eventually suppressed by far-right anti-reproductive rights lawmakers and the orange hellbeast.

Maybe you’ve even heard of it before — it’s a national nonprofit called Planned Parenthood.

~ ~ ~

Comment Operations Note

You may have noticed a change in the comments system this week. After many complaints about comments being unreadable after fourth or fifth reply to a reply to a comment especially on mobile devices, the maximum width of threaded nested comments has been set to four.

In other words, this is what will be permitted as seen on a desktop:

A fifth reply to the fourth comment in this thread will not see a Reply button.

If you wish to leave a reply to that fourth comment, preface the comment with the user’s name and date/time of the comment to which you wish to reply. You can also pick up the link to that comment by right-clicking on the date/time and then pasting into the preface of your reply. Example:

Rayne (edit)

Reply to Legonaut, May 3, 2024 at 6:11 pm

Nice or Noise?

Not an actual reply in that thread, just an example of how to leave a fifth-wide comment and what it will look like.

Will it slow your comments down? Sorry, yes, it may, but if you really feel compelled to share a comment this is a trade-off for readability. What good is your comment if it can’t be read by a substantial portion of the EW community?

I should also add here that wordy comments lacking concision have also helped force this change. You know who you are; think more about your audience here because even at four wide, some comments will still be challenging on mobile devices. Under the previous setting, those overlong comments acted like a Denial of Service to other readers.

There will be more changes to comments in the near future, though a couple tweaks to the righthand sidebar will happen first. Watch for them.

~ ~ ~

Treat this as an open thread.

124 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    A reminder once again:

    A reminder to all new and existing community members participating in comments:

    — We’ve adopted a minimum standard to support community security. Usernames must be unique and a minimum of 8 letters.

    — We do not require a valid, working email, but you must use the same email address each time you publish a comment here. **Single use disposable email addresses do not meet this standard.**

    — If you have been commenting here but have less than 1000 comments published and been participating less than 10 years as of October 2022, you must update your username to match the new standard.

    Thank you.

  2. harpie says:


    So, right now it’s Katie plus her 13 co-sponsors:
    Marco, Kevin, Steve, Chuck, Cindy, Roger, Jerry, Pete, Mike, Eric, Thomas, Roger and James.

    • Peterr says:

      Of course the two senators from Kansas are co-sponsors, but I’m kind of surprised not to see Josh Hawley on that list.

      • tje.esq@23 says:

        He’s up for re-election, and until it’s decided if the abortion referendum in his state will be on the November general election (versus August primary) ballot, I suspect he will keep his powder dry. I preduct he will co-sponsor the day after his senate race is called, if not out of the woods before then.


        But, I have yet to hear messaging, IN ANY STATE, that a pro-legalized-abortion-amendment voter should ALSO vote out the anti-abortion legislators — state and federal — who support banning abortion. Without this message push, I don’t know if he really has much to worry about.

        My plea to all interested in this topic — please inform your friends and neighbors that referendum voting alone will not curb the threat to women’s rights’ further being curbed. The threat of 50 Republican US Senators getting rid of the filibuster to ban abortion nationally is REAL!

        Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, Rick Scott, Marsha Blackburn, etc., could all be defeated in US Senate races if amendment voters knew the stakes. We must educate!

  3. bloopie2 says:

    Good comments change. I note that there is a substantial indent when moving from a comment to its first reply — about 12 characters? I assume you have tried various levels, tho. Anyhow, Happy Mother’s Day to you, Rayne, and thank you for hosting.

  4. MsJennyMD says:

    Happy Mother’s Day Rayne. Thank you for the post allowing expression about this daft bill.

    Screams volumes from Britt and 13 co-sponsor Republicans who want a bill to “control women” from the “my way or the highway” party.

    Aren’t Republicans against National Registries? They want to track pregnant women, however oppose a federal database for gun owners. Are pregnant women a bigger danger to America than guns? Are the “rights” of gun owners more important than the “rights” of women?

    How about a National Registry for Vasectomies? A “vasectomy.gov” website for information and resources to control men’s bodies. That would be equality for all.

    Ludicrous measures using the federal government to take women back 100 years – barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen.

    • Rayne says:

      Nothing in the Constitution about a well regulated uterus being necessary to the security of a free State, but by the gods we’re going to register and regulate them.

      • hippiebullsht says:

        and yes Rayne, the Manny state needs to be heeled back and let Planned Parenthood carry on their valuable and capable mission.
        Thanks for calling that up for us.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Not much emphasis on maternal and infant health and safety, and nothing about what kind of life the forced-birth child would have after it leaves the womb. Just policing pregnancies through a national website whose security would be a joke.

        • Rayne says:

          And members of Congress getting access to data about the uterus-havers in their state, down to their IP address and possibly even telephone.

          Can’t imagine what that’s worth to campaigns.

    • hippiebullsht says:

      Oh you so are very, very getting to the heart of the matter here.
      Thank you for your incisive comment.
      And sure, lets build equality with vasectomy.gov and maybe coming soon, manpill.gov. and myguns.gov. Lotsa people need a lotta adulting help in those areas.

      Reminds me of a song by my favorite Irish band, the Frames.
      god bless mom: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWFn7OzVAD0

      ‘you see how hard it can be to keep your side of the deal,
      you see how hard it can be to keep one foot in the real’
      a rejoinder the R s need to answer to the depth of their souls before they lose them. Their dishonesty and subterfugling has no future in this world. They have so much more to live into, as we all do.

      and one for the rest of us caught up in who we are and what momma tried for: the Frames-headlong https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXkqO4vDJLQ
      recording team included my fav dead guy of the week, S Albini.

    • CovariantTensor says:

      Although I’m not proposing it as a proper role for the federal government, especially the control part, a voluntary national vasectomy registry could be useful for when your prospective sex partner claims to have had one.

  5. Sussex Trafalgar says:

    What a ghastly bill!

    It’s obvious the Republican Party will support this bill whilst, at the same time, supporting Trump’s recently proposed high and middle income tax cuts, especially the tax cuts targeting small (less than 20 employees) middle income family businesses.

    The Democrat Party needs to create a multifaceted campaign capable of countering both of these Republican Party campaign issues simultaneously, including but not limited to, deeper tax cuts for the middle and lower income small family businesses.

    • Rayne says:

      I personally don’t favor this because we draw too many trolls already. Imagine all the Nazis on the dead bird app which harass Marcy showing up here to mess with likes or in the alternate, up votes.

      It’s also one more piece of data which must be collected, stored, and potentially used against community members.

      • bmaz says:

        What “you” favor is dumb ass shit only you approve of. Because you are extremely petty. bYou will never learn the real lesson of long arm/short arm syndrome;.

        [Moderator’s note: you’ve been warned repeatedly your comments trashing moderation and site operations here will be deleted. This is your third such comment today and I’m only leaving it up because you clearly need a reminder after three strikes. /~Rayne]

        • Rayne says:

          Please don’t encourage the behavior with comments like this.

          For other commenters thinking of piling on anyhow: don’t.

        • gertibird says:

          No up or down votes. It’s annoying enough with bmaz’s petty public comments against whatever he has against moderators these days.

      • LordAvebury says:

        I agree that per-comment liking or upvoting is undesirable. However over (almost exactly) 20 years of working with WordPress for personal and work-related blogs, I’ve found that providing a simple “like” at the post level actually reduces the number of content-free comments. From Usenet in the 80s to today’s social media jungle, many people feel the need to engage with content that they like, even if they have nothing to say. Clicking a Like widget and seeing a counter increment satisfies that need for many.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:


      It’s opaque. The community only knows a commentator from what they write. Say what you “like” or don’t like.

      • Rayne says:

        There’s that. And then there’s the lurker who’s never commented and doesn’t want to expose themselves but suddenly uses “like” whose IP address would be documented on the server not just as a casual visitor but an interactive one as well — and we can’t be absolutely certain at what point that interactive traffic could be sniffed no matter how hard we try to prevent it.

  6. ApacheTrout says:

    I expect a red state to propose legislation that would require ID (scanned) to purchase a pregnancy test.

    • Peterr says:

      I think their preferred legislation would be to require that any pregnancy test sold in their state must include an automatic reporting feature, that would send the results to a state database.

      I’d put Texas at the top of the list for trying something like this, with Alabama a close second.

      • gertibird says:

        This is just so unbelievable, that it is true makes it so much worse. How the hell did the US get to this state?

  7. orvillej says:

    Thanks for whatever you did to the comment formatting. I can now read thru an entire comment section on my phone. Couldn’t do that before.

    • gertibird says:

      Yes. I noticed it a bit ago when I couldn’t get to my Mac and had to be satisfied with my Android and was suddenly surprised and pleased: by George I can now read the comments on my phones. Hurrah to moderators!

  8. Andrew_is_tired says:

    Pretend for a moment that you want to pass a bill that would create a website to direct (expecting) mothers to resources around them. You do not want to direct them to anyone that provides abortions, and you want this to be done by the federal government (emphasis on the pretending). How do you go about doing this? Is there any way to do this that would not involve some privacy risk?

    • Rayne says:

      It’s called community block grants to NGOs that already provide this information without providing its users’ data to the government, and which already comply with the Hyde Amendment.

      Like Planned Parenthood.

  9. originalK says:

    Thank you for covering this, Rayne, I would have missed it. It does appear to be legislation to use the power of the federal gov’t to enforce (and foot part of the bill for) state-level abortion bans.

    I had a little guy back when vacuous Republican trad-mom Rep. Michelle Bachmann (MN) was going after Michelle Obama over her advocacy for breastfeeding, calling it a policy of the “nanny state”. It was part of her positioning in her run for president in 2012.

    Last week, when researching (what the heck happened to the young) Stephen Miller, I was surprised to see that he had worked for both Bachmann and Jeff Sessions (AL) on his path to being chief child abuser under Trump. I didn’t know that Bachmann would have had to go to CA for far-right staffers, when there are plenty here in MN.

    Now that Noem has flamed out, is this an effort to push Britt for Trump’s VP? Is Miller part of that effort?

    • Rayne says:

      It had occurred to me this was a plug for Britt as VP — and if so, somebody’s also thinking of Trump’s mortality.

      Now imagine President Britt.

      Fucking pisses me off that Trump is anywhere north of 40% in polling just thinking about this realistic threat to democracy.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I suspect all of Trump’s VP candidates are hoping the McBurgers soon get the better of him. Being his VP would be a cross between boredom and constantly being thrown under the bus.

        But a President Britt would be among the worst possible picks. Her patronizing insincerity is breathtaking. Her judgmentalism would make a Puritan witch hunt feel like a ACLU songfest around the campfire.

        • P-villain says:

          That is precisely how I perceive JD Vance (who’s attending Trump’s trial today). Vance has won exactly one election but sees himself as President-in-Waiting if he can just get on the 2024 Republican ticket. A young man in a hurry.

    • Gertibird says:

      Personally, I can’t imagine that Trump will choose a woman for vp given how he views them and given how it has been mostly women that have caused him the most damage. My bet is on someone like Vance, who is a made man by Trump, white and will do exactly as told.

  10. punaise says:

    Thumbs up on the comment nesting change. As a more than occasional contributor to threads going sideways (literally) glad to be the poster child for this.

    Calling utter BS on this data base legislation: it’s an outrage. Spoken on the day madame punaise got a wonderful Mother’s Day present: news that punaisette and hubby are expecting – by choice! (shhh: it not official yet).

      • punaise says:

        Thanks! We’re giving them space on the name(s) – no pressure. Unlikely to include “pun” – she suffered too many dad jokes growing up.

    • David Brooks says:

      Expect the baby to be puny at first, but as they begin to talk they will play with words in creative ways.

      My 8 year old granddaughter yesterday said she had learned about the schwa, and gave a typically lucid account of what it is. She seemed unstressed at the idea of hearing a New Zealander say “pin, pan, pen, pun”.

      • punaise says:

        good for her – I never got past diphthongs (the flipflops you where when going into the pool)

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      Outstanding punaise ! I’m going to Nashville on Monday to meet my Grand Daughter. We have to get this country straightened out for them. The anxiety regarding November is a tremendous motivator.

      • punaise says:

        Yay! There are strong cases to be made in support of not reproducing, but how else can we hope to keep the deplorables in check in the long run…

  11. harpie says:

    I just read the words “in 2011 TWICE within the last 20 minutes…
    and thought I’d share those paragraphs.

    1] Right Makes Might Long before Trump came on the scene, key congressional Republicans had been sidling up to nativist and authoritarian leaders across the globe. https://newrepublic.com/article/153276/republicans-congress-courted-nativist-authoritarian-leaders Sarah Posner/March 25, 2019

    [[Orban hired] the reclusive American political strategist who was an early mastermind of red-meat Republican attack ads, Arthur J.] Finkelstein, who died in 2017, made his reputation as a major campaign player on the right by successfully recasting the word “liberal” as a pejorative in U.S. politics—and through his counsel to clients that a winning strategy was to “polarize the electorate.” Over the decades, he advised the campaigns of Ronald Reagan, Jesse Helms, Orrin Hatch, and many other Republicans, as well as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; his many protégés, known as “Arthur’s kids,” include recently indicted Trump adviser Roger Stone and Trump campaign pollster Tony Fabrizio. [harpie adding: and Paul Manafort]

    In 2011, in a rare public appearance at the CEVRO Institute, a university in Prague, Finkelstein predicted that voters, provoked by cataclysmic world events, would become increasingly drawn to xenophobia and nationalism. This combustible realignment of political views, Finkelstein explained, would translate into a resurgent longing for strongman leaders throughout the world, short on specific policy proposals, but long on authoritarian swagger. “I don’t know if anybody is watching Donald Trump in the United States, but it’s mind-boggling, it’s just pure personality,” Finkelstein said, presciently. […]

    2] From today‘s NYT live blogging of COHEN’s testimony:

    Michael Cohen is now explaining how, in 2011, when Trump was considering running for president, Cohen fed Trump a poll that was supportive of him. Cohen now explains he had “created for him my own website, called ShouldTrumpRun.com.” That period of time was one of intense competition between Cohen and Trump’s longest-serving adviser, Roger Stone.

    Trump didn’t ultimately run in the election in the following year. But he did plant the seeds for himself in the G.O.P. primary by vaulting to the top of the polls on a lie that President Barack Obama may not have been born in the United States.

  12. boatgeek says:

    Thank you for the new comment policy. I saw the change earlier, but the explanation makes much more sense. Now I can read comments on the small screen without the dance of turning the phone and firing my spot again.

    And thank you for the update on the Britt bill. At least it’s in the Senate so it will just remain a talking point. For now. God help us all (irony intended) if the fascists take all three branches of government in November.

  13. LaMissy! says:

    I’m not as optimistic as boatgeek that this bill will remain just a talking point.

    This website’s central focus isn’t reproductive rights, but Jessica Valenti’s substack “Abortion Every Day” does an admirable job of tracking the right’s efforts to destroy the self-determination of people who can become pregnant. Valenti’s crystal ball is unerring.

    • boatgeek says:

      Chuck Schumer certainly isn’t going to bring it to the floor, so it’s dead as a proposal at the federal level. Who knows what states will do with it. I suppose it might come up in the House, but I suspect that Mike Johnson wouldn’t want to have his members on record supporting it before the election.

      Of course, that all changes on Jan 20 2025 if the fascists take the House, Senate, and presidency. So we as voters and activists have to stop that from happening.

    • RipNoLonger says:

      Except the ones in the wombs of the women who succumbed to Covid. Ask if trump or the (r)epuglicons care.

      • Matt Foley says:

        MAGA pro-life anti-vaxers: “Liberty over safety! High survival rate! Personal choice!”
        Now: “Migrant invasion! Laken Riley! We’re in danger!”

        768 cops died of covid in 2020-2022. Not a peep from Fox. But when one NY cop Jonathan Diller was killed on a traffic stop it was non-stop MAGA outrage.

        MAGAs are fake pro lifers.

    • Rayne says:

      There were fetuses and neonates harmed and killed by COVID. We just don’t know how many because the cause of death was often masked by comorbidities and COVID mortality reporting was frequently suppressed.

      You can praise the Trump family, specifically Jared Kushner, and MAGA once it becomes clear years from now how much long-term disability and death they caused with their genocide-by-neglect policy toward COVID.

    • Legonaut says:

      “MAGA” = “Make America Gilead Again”

      “Noice” = “Nice” (as said by Eric Idle winking and nudging)

  14. CovariantTensor says:

    I saw the Natasha Richardson/Robert Duvall film of “The Handmaid’s Tale” when it first came out (1990). I was so intrigued by it (and hadn’t previously heard of Margarete Atwood) that I ran out and bought the novel, and couldn’t put it down until I finished. More recently, when “Testament” came out, since I couldn’t locate my original copy of HT I bought a new one, and read them both cover to cover. They are by far the most plausible to me dystopian story I have read. All the more so in view of recent events.

    When I first read HT I was somewhat under the sway of American Exceptionalism, and thought there is no way the American constitutional republic could actually be dismantled in a matter of weeks as she describes. I have since become much less sanguine.

    The message of Orwell’s 1984, as I see it, is that once a totalitarian government takes hold it will be with us forever. History suggests otherwise, even if it lasts a few centuries. It does contain many useful examples of how propaganda works, a favorite topic of Orwell. Huxley’s “Brave New World” edges closer to plausibility by suggesting it is far easier to control a population with entertainment and consumer goods than by force (progress to a Brave New World society came to a probably very temporary halt with the embryonic personhood ruling).

    Atwood suggests total control can only last so long, even in the first novel. In its epilogue, a conference of history professors is discussing the long ago fallen Republic of Gilead, doing what professors are wont to do: touting their work and making puns. It seems to suggest, by my reading, the former Gilead territories are now part of Canada.

    • LaMissy! says:

      Atwood said in an interview that all that she had written about in Handmaid had already happened somewhere; this in 1985.

  15. harpie says:

    Huh! Look at this:

    May 13, 2024 at 2:14 PM

    I’m proud to introduce the most important thing I’ve ever worked on —
    Ball of Threads, a new podcast with @ emptywheel. bsky. social.

    Only she can tell the true story of the attack on democracy that continues to this day and has brought us to the brink of fascism. [link]

    Links to YouTube:
    Ball of Threads — Introduction to the introduction

  16. tje.esq@23 says:

    This 2022 article in The Atlantic is a powerful example of the premise:

    “Pregnancy is NOT a HEALTH-NEUTRAL condition!”


    Author Annie Lowery brings to front-of-mind the terrible irony that, in some rare cases, less rare for women of color, pregnancy kills the body of its host. If pregnancy doesn’t kill, it can injure or maim, as the ‘lucky’ author Lowery testifies.

    And, despite what the AL supreme court has to say on the subject, a petri-dish embryo, or one attached to the uterine wall of a female, MUST HAVE A LIVE UTERINE-BEARING HOST (aka, a ‘healthy pregnant girl or woman’) for the baby to be born alive and at an age mature enough to survive after birth. Killing the mother before birth is the DUMBEST CHOICE any state legislature can make, and absolutely inconsistent with a “pro-life” state posture.

    Maternal death caused by biology is one rare, yet ABSOLUTELY REAL, consequence of state abortion bans.

    And then there is the increased risk of bodily injury and death perpetrated not by biology, but by humanity, or more specifically, perpetrated by the very real, male, human, IPV abuser who uses reproductive coercion to maintain power and control over his female victim.* Intimate Partner Violence abusers get a big assist in their coercion and control efforts from state legislatures in abortion-ban states.

    Specifically, after accomplishing stage 1 — pregnancy coercion (impregnating their female companion against her will through occult or open ‘birth control sabotage’ or prohibition, non-consensual sex, or other means of manipulation, coercion, control, entrapment, or false imprisonment), state legislatures carry out Stage 2 — controlling pregnancy outcome — on the IPV perpetrator’s behalf. All the sperm ejector has to do in these states is to coercively prevent his abuse victim from travelling out of state for a few weeks. Worse yet, with each passing week of pregnancy, her risk of being violently assaulted or killed by the coercive impregnator increases with each millimeter of increased belly-bulge.

    This famous Texas case teaches us how much power state legislatures have given men to coercively control and entrap their female victims — not only through its abortion ban, but through its ‘vigilante justice or ‘right-to-sue-abortion-enablers’ law.

    docket https://trellis.law/case/48167/23-cv-0375/marcus-silva-vs-jackie-noyola-et-al

    * American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG ) statement on intimate partners who use reproductive coercion to to exert power and control to influence their partner’s reproductive health outcome, how to detect during patient encounters, harm reduction techniques, and suggested patient counseling. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23344307/

    Pregnancy coercion, intimate partner violence, and unintended pregnancy https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2896047/

    Review of Intimate Partner Violence During Pregnancy and Its Adverse Effects on Maternal and Fetal Health

  17. harpie says:

    Fvcking House Majority Leader and Insurrectionist Enabler
    Mike JOHNSON, is AT the TRUMP Trial today.

    • harpie says:

      JOHNSON is NOT in the courtroom, but is scheduled to speak outside.

      Vivek RAMASWAMY is live-tweeting from INSIDE the courtroom.

      • harpie says:


        It’s worth noting that lawyers with the defense are allowed to have phones, but members of the general public are not. The Trump team has been pressing the rules on this for weeks now, and a political ally live-tweeting from the courtroom is a whole new thing.

        [Though I think I read that VANCE was tweeting from the courtroom yesterday.]

        • P J Evans says:

          I read yesterday evening that Vance spent the whole time looking at his phone. SO probably not paying attention to the trial; it’s a show-up-for-the-boss deal.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Yes, he’s not supposed to have a phone in court, much less use it to live tweet.

      • MsJennyMD says:

        Preacher Johnson outside the courthouse today: “This is the fifth week that President Trump has been in court for this sham of a trial. They are doing this intentionally to keep him here and to keep him off the campaign trail. And I think everyone in the country can see that.”

        Speak for yourself Johnson. Enabler Republican public servants fighting his fights and rewarding abusive behavior. And this from the party of family values.

        Trump is on trial charged with 34 felony counts for falsifying business records. A cover-up story finally unearthed. As Howard Baker said, “It is almost always the cover-up rather than the event that causes trouble.”

    • harpie says:

      Related [a few minutes ago] by two different reporters:

      Michael Cohen was in the midst of testimony about weighing whether to retain loyalty to Trump, painting it as a very difficult decision, as he considered whether he would be loyal to his family, his country or Trump.

      As he was speaking, Vivek Ramaswamy and a number of the other politicians here supporting Trump today walked back in the room. It was a remarkable moment, but Cohen seemed mostly unfazed. He kept testifying.

      Justice Merchan didn’t take note of what took place, but he might have if Cohen had been disrupted. We have almost never seen a display like that during the proceedings — several officials marching in during testimony — and it was disruptive in the room, if not to the witness.

  18. harpie says:

    Killing Dogs. Taunting the Homeless. Praising Al Capone. This Is Trump’s Party.
    Michelle Goldberg May 13, 2024, 9:14 p.m. ET


    John McEntee — who started out carrying Donald Trump’s bags and rose to become, in the chaotic final days of Trump’s presidency, his most important enforcer — has a TikTok account. In a video he published last week, he explains how he likes to keep “fake Hollywood money” in his car to give to homeless people. “Then when they go to use it, they get arrested, so I’m actually like helping clean up the community,” he said. […]

    A cult of [Patrick] Bateman [from the 2000 film “American Psycho] has developed on the very online right, [link] which is why images from “American Psycho” appeared multiple times in a bizarre ad for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis during his abortive presidential campaign. And no one, of course, does vice signaling like Trump, who keeps comparing himself to the gangster Al Capone. […]

    That link is to:
    What’s attracting young men to Patrick Bateman? by Robert Schmad at Washington Examiner July 8, 2021 7:56 pm

    • harpie says:

      That first paragraph…
      McEntee is a despicable person…though that’s not surprising.

      This reminds me that the story of George Floyd’s death by cops
      began with a counterfeit $20 bill.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      McEntee is despicable because he chooses to support Trump and invents dirty tricks that harm the innocent. Like so many on the right, his cruelty is the point, as is his arrogance that he’ll never be caught and held accountable.

      McEntee seems to be pulling back, though, from bragging about, in effect, swatting the poor and homeless by distributing counterfeit notes to them as donations. A frat buddy might have reminded him that 18 USC 480 is a felony that carries up to 20 years in prison. He’s now playing the Stone-Trump card, saying it was a joke. I bet. Evidence of crime might be hard to find, but an investigation seems warranted.

    • harpie says:

      From Robert Schmad’s July 8, 2021 Washington Examiner column:

      What’s attracting young men to Patrick Bateman? https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/2277489/whats-attracting-young-men-to-patrick-bateman/

      […] Bateman’s popularity in corners of the Right is rooted in his perceived power. He wields control over himself and his surroundings, something many young men, especially conservatives, feel is unattainable to them and thus long for an avatar to experience such things vicariously through. Hence, Bateman’s appeal.

      Through his wealth, physical desirability, and violence, Patrick Bateman is capable of shaping the world around him into whatever he wants it to be. His vision for the world is, of course, self-absorbed and depraved, but the capability to realize it is enough to captivate the minds of those who have been made to feel helpless [Nice PASSIVE voice there!] by modernity.

      Further, Bateman is both obsessed with following and, at times, entirely dismissive of social conventions. For young men who feel constrained by the passive-aggressive and increasingly regimented nature of their day-to-day interactions, Bateman is both a morbidly relatable and a cathartic presence on screen.

      Hollywood has failed to provide an entire generation of young men with masculine role models. While our fathers grew up with Clint Eastwood and Sean Connery, we have been fed [< MORE passivity] a narrative that men ought to be docile and submissive, totally contrary to our nature. Filling this void have been characters such as Bateman, extreme manifestations of masculinity that the reactionary fervor cultivated by the Left’s assault on manhood has drawn [< MORE passivity] many toward.

      Just so deeply toxic.

      • Rayne says:

        Hollywood has failed to provide an entire generation of young men with masculine role models.

        What a crock of shit. This moron has a problem with this generation’s masculine role models like Keanu Reeves, Dwayne Johnson, Oscar Isaac, Bradley Cooper, Ryan Gosling, and so many more who have wider emotional range than Eastwood. I won’t trash talk Connery but Christ, man’s been dead four years now, gave up the ghost at age 90. Try looking at actors who aren’t old enough to collect Social Security.

        One other point this douchebag Schmad doesn’t write but you know he’s thinking it: a big swath of the actors younger than 93-year-old Eastwood are mixed race or non-white. Can’t have those people being role models to young men, ya’ know.

        As for the character Bateman: he’s like Gordon Gecko’s character in Wall Street, a social parasite. Greed is NOT good just as serial killing to fill an emotional void isn’t, but morons like Schmad have taken away the wrong message from American Psycho and rationalize glorifying a fictional character rather than smacking anybody for using Bret Easton Ellis’ fiction as a model for life.

        Thanks for winding me up, harpie, shook off my afternoon doldrums.

        • harpie says:

          LOL! I aim to please! :-)

          The other day Heather Cox Richardson wrote about
          TRUMP and the Marlborough Man Myth:


          […] But five major stories over the past several days made me realize that I’ve never written about how Trump and his loyalists have distorted the cowboy image until it has become a poisonous caricature of the values its recent defenders have claimed to champion.

          The cowboy myth originated during the Reconstruction era as a response to the idea that a government that defended Black rights was “socialist” and that the tax dollars required to pay bureaucrats and army officers would break hardworking white men. […]

          The cowboy myth was always a political image, designed to undermine the idea of a government that worked for ordinary Americans. It was powerful after the Civil War but faded into the past in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s as Americans realized that their lives depended on government regulation and a basic social safety net. The American cowboy burst back into prominence with the advent of the Marlboro Man in 1954, the year of the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision, and the idea of an individual white man who worked hard, wanted nothing from the government but to be left alone, was a sex symbol, and protected his women became a central myth in the rise of politicians determined to overturn the liberal consensus.

          Now it seems the myth has come full circle, with the party led by a man whose wife rejects him and whose lovers ridicule him, who makes up stories about dangerous “others,” cheats on his taxes, solicits bribes, and tries to sell out his followers for cash—the very caricature the mythological cowboy was invented to fight.

    • harpie says:

      Goldberg: [Kristi Noem has been trying “for years” [] “to fit into Trump’s circle”]

      McEntee, a senior adviser on personnel for Project 2025, the right’s plan for a second Trump administration, is going to be the gateway to many White House jobs. And Trump’s two older sons [JUNIOR Don and Eric Second Son], of course, love posting photos of themselves with the dead trophy animals they hunt.

      It makes sense that someone trying to navigate this milieu [Noem] would think the Cricket story makes her look good. […]

      JUNIOR Don, at least, is totally steeped in the toxic grievance wanna-be he-man culture we’re talking about, and Marcy’s post today just emphasizes that.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The devil will be in the details, including requirements for Covid testing that Trump flouted last time. The moderators need to enforce them ruthlessly – and to curtail or cancel the debate if Trump flouts them. Screw the media clamoring to fill their airwaves with free content.

      Debates are not press conferences, where a candidate can do as he pleases. The organizers would do well to prepare for Trump’s predictable complaints and bullying – it’s what he does – and the obvious rage treats that would follow neutral firm enforcement of the rules.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        The debate will be organized ad hoc, purportedly through cooperating news media.

        I hope the second debate is subject to Trump’s good behavior at the first debate. He shouldn’t get a do over. If he screws up in June, as seems probable, then he should have no opportunity to do it again in September.

        • harpie says:

          The problems you’ve mentioned were some of those the Biden Campaign detailed to the previous debate organizers as to why he would not participate in more of their debates this year.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Not Democrats, I should think. Why did Joe Biden propose two debates with a guy who screams, but doesn’t debate or play by the rules that define a debate?

        • xyxyxyxy says:

          I can picture Trump calling on his supporters to kill Biden every time he opens his mouth in the debate. He’ll hold up pictures of himself holding a bat to Biden’s, Schiff’s, Raskin’s, etc. heads, like the one he had with Bragg.

  19. harpie says:

    In SLOVKIA: The prime minister was shot multiple times while visiting supporters, his Facebook page said. Slovakia’s populist prime minister, Robert Fico, was shot and seriously wounded on Wednesday in what the government called an assassination attempt. […] https://www.nytimes.com/live/2024/05/15/world/slovakia-prime-minister-fico-shooting/slovakia-prime-minister-fico

    […] Mr. Fico has aligned with the Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orban, in opposing aid to Ukraine and challenging mainstream opinions within the European Union.

    On Wednesday, Mr. Orban was quick to send good wishes to Mr. Fico, whom he called “my friend.” […]

    Mr. Fico, who ended an earlier stint as prime minister by resigning in 2018 amid a swirl of corruption accusations, has also followed Mr. Orban in trying to erode the independence of his country’s judiciary and in casting supporters of Ukraine as disloyal lackeys of the United States.

    Mr. Fico returned to power after a general election in September, reviving a political career that many had considered over when he quit amid large street protests after the killing of an investigative journalist who had been looking into government graft. […]

    • harpie says:

      Caught my eye in another update:

      Fico was airlifted to the F.D. Roosevelt Hospital in Banska Bystrica, a city near Handlova, according to Slovak officials.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        He sounds more Orban than Merkel. He started a leftist party, but is staunchly pro-Putin. Must be an avid reader of nakedcapitalism.

        • harpie says:

          That’s a really good summary article.

          […] Also in April, Peter Pellegrini, a Ukraine-sceptic and close ally of Fico, won a run-off vote in presidential elections against the liberal, pro-western opposition candidate, Ivan Korčok.

          Pellegrini is due to succeed Zuzana Čaputová, the country’s first female head of state. Čaputová, a staunch backer of neighbouring Ukraine in its fight against Russia’s invasion, announced she would not run for re-election last June after receiving death threats.

          This assassination attempt feels like a very big deal,
          that could have worldwide repurcussions.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Your web browser will lead you to the site, and to the definition of horseshoe leftist.

    • timbozone says:

      It’s most certainly disheartening. One article pointed out that this is the first serious political assassination attempt in Europe in the past 20 years… I think that assassination in the Netherlands back in 2002 possibly?

  20. xyxyxyxy says:

    Reply to earlofhuntingdon
    May 15, 2024 at 2:15 pm, here and there I read nakedcapitalism and I find it thoughtful. What is horseshoe leftist and what about it is that?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Follow the shape of a horseshoe. A HS leftist is so far left, they’ve gone right. That describes nakedcapitalism’s political position. It has a few favorite “experts” on Russia, for example, that I think are suspect, but which are above criticism, as are Saints Greenwald, Taibbi, and Mate, who comprise the site’s holy trinity of journalism.

      • Rayne says:

        I have a nit with the supposition nakedcapitalism and the “saints” are horseshoe leftists.

        They’re really useful idiots inside an influence operation. There’s a pattern ops like this follow: launch and target a liberal audience; develop trust and enlarge a liberal audience; gradually change content to anarcho-/crypto-fascism. You can surely think of a couple other outfits which did the same thing.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Fair enough. My irritation is that it’s virtually impossible to criticize one of the frequent comments by those three without being inundated with retorts. Ditto with Scott Ritter and John Helmer.

          The latter I find particularly suspect, as he claims to be an investigative journalist, who has lived in Moscow for over a decade, and hasn’t been arrested or deported, which suggests Putin is reasonably happy with his output.

  21. harpie says:


    Law professor Joshua Douglas wrote soon to be published “The Court v. The Voters.”

    Paul Rosenberg published an interview with Douglas on 5/11/24:

    Can we end the Supreme Court’s assault on voting rights? This legal scholar says there’s hope Law professor Joshua Douglas on “The Court v. The Voters,” and a bipartisan solution that might actually work https://www.salon.com/2024/05/11/can-we-end-the-on-voting-rights-this-legal-scholar-says-theres-hope/

    […] Each chapter focuses on a case in which the Supreme Court has eroded voter rights in some way. Where two or more cases have eroded rights in similar ways, those are presented in order, offering a grand overview of how the court has undermined democracy. Some are well known and infamous decisions, like Citizens United and Bush v. Gore, and others are well known to voting-rights activists, such as Shelby County v. Holder. Others are more obscure, but they all played a role in bringing us where we are today, with individual voting rights dramatically diminished from a high point under Chief Justice Earl Warren’s court during the 1960s. […]

    • harpie says:

      Bolts Magazine published a Q and A with Douglas yesterday:

      How the Supreme Court Is Undermining Voting Rights: Your Questions Answered An election law expert responds to questions from Bolts readers on how the court is affecting democracy and what comes next—from threats to the VRA to his hopes for repair. https://boltsmag.org/how-the-supreme-court-is-undermining-voting-rights-your-questions-answered/

      Few institutions affect our elections as much as the U.S. Supreme Court. Currently led by John Roberts, who burst onto the political scene in the 1980s hell-bent on weakening the Voting Rights Act, the Court has continually chipped away at U.S. democracy in recent decades. A new book coming out this week reconstructs that history. […]

    • harpie says:

      In Louisiana:

      1] US Supreme Court Allows Louisiana to Use Congressional Map With Two Majority-Black Districts https://www.democracydocket.com/news-alerts/us-supreme-court-allows-louisiana-to-use-congressional-map-with-two-majority-black-districts/ Crystal Hill May 15, 2024

      2] Wednesday’s civil rights “victory” at SCOTUS comes with caveats A Louisiana congressional map with two majority-Black districts will be used in 2024. The SCOTUS conservatives, however, used reasoning urged by the state’s GOP leaders. https://www.lawdork.com/p/scotus-louisiana-redistricting-congress-vra-epc
      Chris Geidner 5/16/24

    • harpie says:

      In relation to this VOTING train of thought, but with much wider ramifications:

      Minority Rule Is Threatening American Democracy Like Never Before The Founding Fathers planted a bomb in the Constitution. Donald Trump lit the fuse. https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2024/04/minority-rule-is-threatening-american-democracy-like-never-before/ Ari Berman May+June 2024
      [This story is adapted from Ari Berman’s new book, Minority Rule: The Right-Wing Attack on the Will of the People—and the Fight to Resist It, which will be published April 23.]

    • harpie says:

      Excerpt from the Berman article:

      […] The founders, despite the lofty ideals in the Declaration of Independence, designed the Constitution in part to check popular majorities and protect the interests of a propertied white upper class. The Senate was created to represent the country’s elite and boost small states [a] while restraining the more democratic House of Representatives. The Electoral College prevented the direct election of the president and enhanced the power of small states and slave states. [b] The makeup of the Supreme Court was a product of these two undemocratic institutions.

      But as the United States has democratized in the centuries since, extending the vote and many other rights to formerly disenfranchised communities, the antidemocratic features built into the Constitution have become even more pronounced, to the point that they are threatening the survival of representative government in America. […]

      [a] America’s anti-democratic Senate, by the numbers If the United States chose its leaders in free and fair elections, Republicans would be firmly out of power.
      [Ian Millhiser Nov 6, 2020]

      [b] The Electoral College’s Racist Origins More than two centuries after it was designed to empower southern white voters, the system continues to do just that. [Wilfred Codrington III Nov 17, 2019]

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