It is a Sad Day in America: Roe V. Wade is No More

A few months ago, we celebrated the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. When I wrote that post, I still had hope that the right of anyone with a uterus had the right to decide their own fate. That hope died this morning.

By lunchtime, the federal government had washed its hands of the issue. It is now illegal to have an abortion in America. Each state can now decide if the procedure will be allowed and to what degree. In many states, this means that will be either completely against the law or limited to saving the life of the pregnant person.

American women are officially back in the dark ages, depending on where they live. Thankfully, both my home state of New York and New Jersey are among the handful of states that put the life of the pregnant person over politics. But not everyone is so lucky.

How many women will die from back-alley abortions or putting foreign objects in their bodies? How many females of any age will be forced to give birth to their rapist’s child or carry a dead fetus to term? How many women of color who are already living under hard conditions will have another proverbial plate spinning in the air?

The overturning of Roe is the beginning of a slippery slope. According to Judge Clarence Thomas (who I loathe with a passion), this decision opens the door to taking a second look at other rulings.

Justice Clarence Thomas argued in a concurring opinion released on Friday that the Supreme Court “should reconsider” its past rulings codifying rights to contraception access, same-sex relationships and same-sex marriage.

In a similar vein, Loving v. Virginia could also be overturned. That means that his marriage to the equally loathsome Ginni Thomas could be viewed as illegal.

If they thought we would go quietly into the night, they have another thing coming.

Courtesy of Facebook

We can donate to pro-choice organizations (Planned Parenthood, NARAL, etc). We can march and let our voices be heard. We can vote in November and more importantly, vote blue. Though it is dark, the sun will rise again. We just need to fight for that sunrise.

P.S. Congress finally passed a gun control bill. It speaks volumes about this country that we confer more rights on a weapon than a living, breathing human being.

Cutting SSI & Medicare Benefits is the Wrong Decision For the GOP (Unless They Want to Lose)

As we get closer to the 2022 midterm elections, politicians and those around them need to make smart decisions to ensure that they either maintain their position or win their election.

Possibly cutting SSI & Medicare benefits in five years is not a smart decision.

Last week, Senator Rick Scott of Florida proposed a bill that states that Congress has to reauthorize SSI and Medicare benefits every five years. His rationale is as follows:

“Force Congress to issue a report every year telling the public what they plan to do when Social Security and Medicare go bankrupt.”

Of course, Senator Scott is a member of the GOP from Florida (why would he not be?).

Historically, Americans of a certain age are known to vote in larger numbers than younger citizens. If these benefits are cut, how many of our elders would be on the streets and without access to medical care.

Potentially cutting off these programs is practically handing the Democrats a win in the fall. If they want to shoot themselves in the figurative foot, that’s their decision.

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Thoughts On the Latest Health/Political News: The Fourth Covid Shot, Insulin Prices, and NYC Celebrities Vaccine Mandate Exception

At the end of the day, our health is our most important asset. Without it, nothing else matters.

Last week, one of the bills that Congress was scheduled to vote on was the possible reduction of the price of insulin. Americans living with diabetes can potentially spend up to $1,000 a month on the drug. If the bill had passed, the cost would have been capped at $35 a month. As expected, some members of the Republican party voted against it.

I hate to use the word “hypocrite” because it is overused when it comes to the GOP. But there is no other way to describe them. We are not talking about a bottle of aspirin that is opened occasionally due to a headache. The choice between taking lifesaving medication and keeping a roof over your head/food on the table should not be necessary. Anyone with even a modicum of human decency would recognize that.

In Covid-19 news, the CDC has announced a new recommendation for a fourth shot. At this point, the priority is people over the age of fifty or anyone of any age who is immunocompromised. But we should all get it eventually. I get it, this virus is still new. But a fourth shot? Does this mean that we will have to get one every six months for the rest of our lives?

In New York City, Mayor Eric Adams announced two weeks ago that performers and athletes are exempt from the vaccine mandate. While I understand the economic benefits, it feels like it is half-finished. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. The basketball player making the winning jump shot at Madison Square Garden and/or the actor taking the final bow at the end of the Broadway show should have the same status as a member of the cleaning crew. It just creates a bad taste in the proverbial mouth and reinforces the class status.

We forget that our health is paramount, until, for many of us, it is too late. Unfortunately, it took a pandemic to remind us of this fact. It is a reminder that we can never forget.

New Randy Rainbow Video: GURL, YOU’RE A KAREN – A Randy Rainbow Parody

Karen used to be just another name. These days, a Karen is known as a middle-class or upper-middle-class Caucasian woman who believes that she is above certain people and is not afraid to verbalize her status.

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Randy Rainbow, as he always does is not afraid to call out the bullshit. His newest video is GURL, YOU’RE A KAREN – A Randy Rainbow Parody. Based on the song Dentist! from the musical Little Shop of Horrors, he points out the two most obvious Karens in CongressLauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene.

I laughed, I cried, and I laughed some more. The ridiculousness of these two is off the charts. Instead of representing their constituents and doing the job they were hired to do, they are wasting the taxpayer’s time and money on bullshit.

I can’t wait for the day that they are no longer in the halls of power. But until then, we have Rainbow to keep us from losing our minds.

The Only Way to Resolve January 6th is a Repeat of the Nuremberg Trials

From a historical perspective, one of the most important legal trials was the Nuremberg Trials. Between November of 1945 and October of 1946, it laid out the cold, hard facts about the destruction and mass murder brought about by Nazi Germany.

As of now, the tentative date on which the January 6th commission will reveal an interim report is sometime this summer. I propose that when the information becomes public, Congress holds what is essentially a repeat of the Nuremberg Trials.

It should air in primetime, on every major network. The purpose of this to ensure that every American is shown how the former guy and most of the Republican party has manipulated our political norms to ensure their victory.

Now granted, there will be many who will try to downplay the evidence and replace the facts with baseless lies. But until we know the truth in its most complete form, it will continue to haunt us and threaten the values that are the core of this nation.

Thoughts On President Biden’s First Year in Office

The first year of any Presidential administration is always rocky, regardless of how much political experience the President and their team have. It is a transition that requires patience, understanding, and the knowledge that the road ahead is anything but smooth.

Last week, President Biden held a press conference marking his first full year in office. To say that it was a challenge is an understatement. Given the mess his predecessor left behind, I think we need to be a little more understanding.

Looking back, I think many of us expected Biden to twitch his nose and instantly undo the damage done by you know who. It is a task that by definition is impossible.

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The one thing that I think he has going for him is his ability to change course, genuinely listen, and apologize when necessary. I can’t say the same for he who shall not be named.

The one obstacle I see ahead of Biden and the Democrats overall is the 2022 midterms. Recent history tells us that the party in power loses its advantage in Congress every two years. The major problem this time around is that the Republicans have no problem crossing the moral lines to win elections. Michelle Obama‘s recommendation two years ago to go high when they go low will not work this time around.

We can’t completely stoop to their level, but getting a little dirty maybe the one thing that saves the nation and our Democratic model of government. If Biden wants to see his poll numbers climb and ensure that his party retains control, there are two things he must do.

  1. Get the Voting Rights legislation passed: I firmly believe that he won because he spoke to Americans who have been disenfranchised and promised to make it happen. We all know that not all promises made on the campaign trail come to fruition. But this one is the key to the future success of this administration.
  2. Kitchen table issues: Not only does he have to address the most basic of kitchen table issues, he has shout his accomplishments from the rooftops. The only way to win over Americans who believe he is doing a poor job is to reach them where they are. If they are gainfully employed with a good salary, prices are reasonable, etc, then they may finally see through the bullshit of the Republicans. Otherwise, we are facing political tumult like we have never seen before.

I wish I had a crystal ball. But I don’t. I can only hope that at some point in the near future, we can put this madness aside and return to some version of normal.

The Only Way to Honor MLK is to Continue on the Path He Started

These days, it’s easy to reference Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His “I Have a Dream” speech is iconic and universal.

The problem, as I see it, is that there are too many today who give lip service to his legacy. Specifically to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. On paper, some (ahem, Republicans) will state emphatically that they are for voting rights and protecting the right to vote. In reality, they are constricting the access to the polls for certain populations, knowing that these groups have by a wide margin, have supported their opponents.

When the Supreme Court agreed via Shelby County v. Holder that two sections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were unconstitutional, it opened the door to the dangerous situation that our nation is presently in. The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021 would not only strengthen its predecessor but would also hopefully prevent another Shelby County vs. Holder. The issue is that this nation and this Congress is too fractured to protect the ideals that we claim to hold near and dear.

The only way to honor Dr. King’s legacy and memory is to continue where he left off. Though the ground that has been gained is tremendous, the reality is that there are many battles ahead of us.

P.S. Dr. King was also outspoken about antisemitism, a fact that I wish that was not lost to history.

“When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism.”

In Trump’s Shadow: The Battle for 2024 and the Future of the GOP Book Review

Just as in life, there are lessons to be learned in politics. Both the 2016 Presidential election and the 2020 Presidential election, were if nothing else, an eye-opening experience.

In Trump’s Shadow: The Battle for 2024 and the Future of the GOP, by David M. Drucker, was published last month. With you know who finally out of power (thank G-d), the question among members of the GOP is who will replace him? Will it be someone who is a die-hard and will potentially repeat the last four years? Or will it be another person who is a little more particular about the policy decisions they make?

If nothing else, this is a playbook for the 2022 Midterm elections, the 2024 Presidential election, and beyond. This book should be a must-read for every Democrat, both on the individual level and at the highest levels of power. If they are to retain control of both branches of Congress and the White House, they must not only know the other side inside out, but come together. Only then will the rule of law and some version of decency return to this nation.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

Is Anyone Truly Surprised That the New Voting Legislation was Blocked in Congress?

It’s easy to talk about the importance of voting in a political election. We all know how important this single decision is. But for all of the talk, the action from certain segments of our society does not match the words coming out of their mouths.

Last week, a bill went through Congress which would have allowed for same-day voter registration and designated Election Day as a national holiday. The bill, known as the Freedom to Vote Act, was rejected by Republicans in the Senate. Senator Mitch McConnell stated the following for the party’s reasons as the following:

“It is my hope and anticipation that none of us will vote for this latest iteration of Democratic efforts to take over how every American votes all over the country,”

This is bull shit. Rejecting the bill is not about protecting voting rights. It is ensuring that certain people who vote a certain way will if not outright be prevented from entering the ballot box, will have as many hurdles thrown in front of them as possible. While they give lip service about protecting our rights, it is really about staying in power. Instead of listening to what we, the public, want and need, McConnell and his party are more concerned with their careers and serving their 1% donors.

It’s no wonder that this country is going down the drain.

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Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence Book Review

In 1991, when Anita Hill testified that that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her, it was nothing short of earth shattering. Instead of letting the shame destroy her or pretend that it never happened, she took her case to Congress. This brave choice opened the door for victims of similar acts to get justice and ensure that the perpetrators got what they deserved.

Dr. Hill’s new book, Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence, was published in September. Building on her very personal history of experiencing gender violence, she explores such subjects such as bullying, rape, the constant threat to the LGBTQ community, and the mind blowing comparison to the Brett Kavanaugh hearings. In speaking openly about such topics that are often buried under the rug or not taken seriously, she is challenging the reader to speak up, speak out, and ensure that these injustices are finally given the spotlight they should have received a long time ago.

This book is nothing short of mind blowing. If there was ever a fire lit under our collective behinds, this book is the match. Thirty years ago, Dr. Hill opened the door, broke barriers, and inspired multiple generations of activists to stand on her impressive shoulders. She got the ball rolling, it is now up to us to finish the job.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

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