One More Batch

More every day. All of these items are posts today. I’ll move on tomorrow.

  • An essay by a mother about “Republicans’ Absurdist Reproductive Policies”;
  • A MAGA congressman (from Tennessee) floats a Democratic conspiracy theory about the border, dadgummit;
  • Ruben Bolling’s “Tom the Dancing Bug” about Republicans hearing what they want to hear;
  • Jesse Watters upset about Biden eating ice creams;
  • The history of right-wing media accusing migrants of bringing disease (forgetting that their own ancestors were immigrants);
  • How Florida is bungling a measles outbreak;
  • Another Republican claims credit for a spending bill she voted against;
  • And a use of the phrase “chaos agents” in a NYT article today.

Slate, Sarah Lipton-Lubet, 27 Feb 2024: Republicans’ Absurdist Reproductive Policies Are Coming for Us All, subtitled “When I first heard Roe v. Wade would be overturned, I knew I had to move my embryos out of a red state. The past few weeks have proved why.”

She tells her personal story of needing to move her frozen embryos out of her red state.

And isn’t that the story of reproductive freedom in America in a nutshell? Time and again, advocates sound the alarm only to be told that we are being hysterical. Then we watch in horror as our worst fears materialize.

Rife with biblical references and issued on the same day we learned that Trump’s advisers are preparing a full-scale policy effort to impose Christian nationalism on the American public, the Alabama decision sent shock waves through the national political discourse.

In a piece published on MSNBC, the brilliant Sarah Posner made a devastatingly convincing case that Alabama offers “a terrifying preview of another Trump presidency.” The National Republican Senatorial Committee scrambled to advise candidates to “reject government efforts to restrict IVF,” even though its own chairman co-sponsored legislation to give embryos “equal protection under the 14th Amendment.”


They just make this stuff up. Or speculating, at best. (An example of how the word “theory” has become so debased in common parlance.)

AlterNet, Carl Gibson, 28 Feb 2024: MAGA congressman shares bizarre conspiracy theory about Democrats and border on Fox News

A far-right member of Congress is asserting without evidence that Democrats intentionally want to harm border security for political gain.

It’s been widely noted, of course, that Republicans trashed a bipartisan border bill in order to keep the issue of immigration alive during this year’s presidential race. Curiosity: this Tennessee congressman uses, in his quote about the situation, the word “dadgummit.”


Boing Boing, Ruben Bolling, 28 Feb 2024: Tom the Dancing Bug: The embryos shall inherit the earth

Nine-panel cartoon (which I won’t copy but which you can see at the link) in which Mike Johnson goes back in time to chat with Jesus, who says “treat strangers kindly” and so on, and all Johnson hears is “abortion is murder” and “a four-celled embryo is a human being.”

(Paul Simon, in a different context: “A man hears want he wants to hear and disregards the rest.”)


They’re so certain about how other people should behave.

Joe.My.God, 28 Feb 2024: Watters: “Manly” Men Don’t Eat Ice Cream In Public


They do not remember that their ancestors were once immigrants.

Media Matters, John Knefel, 27 Feb 2024: The ugly history of right-wing media accusing migrants of bringing disease, subtitled “From the KKK blaming Italians for the Spanish flu to Fox News accusing migrants of bringing diseases, the nativist right has falsely associated migration with illness”

Long article with many examples, mostly from Fox News.


Another example of the modern rejection of science and democracy. By conservatives.

LA Times, Editorial, 28 Feb 2024: Editorial: Florida shows how to bungle a measles outbreak

As life-saving as the COVID-19 vaccines have been, the measles vaccine has been an even greater success story. Before the vaccine was developed in 1963, outbreaks that occurred every two to three years were killing 2.6 million people worldwide a year, most of them children. Others developed pneumonia, or suffered brain injury and deafness from measles-associated encephalitis.

It’s an incredibly contagious airborne disease. Put a person with measles in a room with 100 other people and 90 of them will be infected. But the vaccine is even more effective than the disease is transmissible. If all 100 people in that room were vaccinated, only four would be infected.

So it’s especially disheartening to observe the new measles cases in Floridaeight and growing at last count. It’s not the biggest measles outbreak in recent years, but the ho-hum attitude of the state’s top public health official, Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo, is deeply troubling.


We’ve seen this kind of hypocritical behavior before.

HuffPost, 28 Feb 2024: GOP Rep. Maria Salazar Takes Credit For Children’s Hospital Funding She Opposed, subtitled “‘I am thrilled to have secured over $1.4 million to provide cutting-edge medicine to children,’ said the Florida congresswoman, who voted against this money.” (Via)

This way Republicans can have it both ways: they can claim they voted against what their constituents would consider “wasteful spending” by Congress, but then take credit for it when the spending comes to their home district.


Finally, noting the use of the phrase I used as the title of my 24 Feb post, in this NY Times article today, Republican Demands and Divisions Drive Impasse Toward a Shutdown, subtitled “The spending stalemate that has brought the government to the brink of a shutdown is being fueled by G.O.P. demands to add conservative spending mandates opposed by President Biden and Democrats.”

“These hard-right chaos agents in the House do not represent a majority of Republicans in the country,” Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader, said on Tuesday ahead of the White House meeting. “They do not represent a majority of Republicans in the Senate. They do not even represent a majority of Republicans in the House. Yet, they are trying to bully everyone else into submission to get what they want.”

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