Category Archives: Poli-kicks

That R Kelly Thing

Last night I gave myself the gift of finally finishing TV’s The Handmaid’s Tale, which, despite its frustrating offness about race and its Girl with the Dragon Tattooism, entertained and evoked. Still, I was relieved to see the finale and move on to less passively torturey entertainments.

So when the R. Kelly story broke–or rather, when the latest in a multi-decades-long string of R. Kelly pedophile/abuser stories broke, I was already dwelling on assholes using religion to justify structural domination of women, people of color, and gender/sex minorities.

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AHCAWUUUUUT Part 4

I keep thinking of this article by Jill Lepore, about the ways in which the health and safety of children have been politicized and destroyed by decades of government budget-slashers.

State child welfare programs are block-granted. I dare you to read Lepore’s article about the consequences of limiting the resources available to pay for essential human services. I dare you to come away from that article believing that capping funding for the medical care of vulnerable people is anything but cruelty.

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AHCAWUUUUUUT?! Part 3

The Senate version of the AHCA has some stupid-ass name I refuse to engage. I will, however, engage with any so-and-so who dares come at me with any argument about anything good about this bill. No one likes it. Except the people that pay GOPpers to destroy our civil society.  Continue reading

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Streetfight: Trumpocalypse Vs Gilead

I read The Handmaid’s Tale this week and anxiously calculated the chances of Atwood’s theocratic/woman-hating coup manifesting in the Donald Duck era.

Atwood’s dystopia sorts women into four classes: Wives (duh), Marthas (domestic servants), Handmaids (pregnancy surrogates for infertile Wives), and Unwomen (“gender traitors” and dissidents). But as Foucault taught us, exceptions to the (gender) rules better enforce the (gender) rules. Though she fears for her life under the brutal regime and is coerced into breaking more and more of its codes, Offred (“Of Fred”) finds herself wresting what pleasure she can out of a system that denies her autonomy, sociality, love. The book is about how much we will give up to stay human.

Thus follows a catalog of qualities our current government may or may not share with Atwood’s Gilead. Which totalitarian, repressive regime wins?

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Apparently Anger is Not a Strategy

Regular readers may have already read Rebecca Traister’s profile of 2017 HRC. If not, now you know how you’ll spend Memorial Day weekend: mourning the memory of democracy last summer.

Here’s my favorite passage, in which Hillary Rodham Clinton, who doesn’t have time for therapy except for a few sessions with Bill in the 90s, echoes what my therapist recently told me about my own feminist anger:

There are plenty of people who yearned for Clinton to get mad; during the campaign, an imagined litany of Clinton’s fury entitled “Let Me Remind You Fuckers Who I Am” went viral. “Oh, I am [pissed],” she says. But as a woman in public life, “you can’t be angry for yourself. You just can’t. You can be indignant, you can be annoyed, you can be frustrated, but you can’t be angry … I don’t think anger’s a strategy.”

You mean it’s not a strategy for you, I clarify. “For me, yeah.” She pauses. “But I don’t think it’s a good strategy for most people.”

But this was an election that was, in many ways, about anger. And Trump and Sanders capitalized on that.

“Yes.” Clinton nods. “And I beat both of them.”

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AHCAWUUUUUT: ACA AHCA Showdown

The National Academy for State Health Policy created this helpful chart comparing the ACA and the March 2017 version of the GOP’s repeal/replace bill. This 18-page chart will scratch your wonk itch when you’re like “What about delivery system reform?!” and “Whither CHIP?”

The Kaiser Family Foundation created a more user-friendly interface for much of the same info plus bonus options to compare ACA, AHCA and other repeal/replace proposals.

Wonk away!

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