The Watering Hole, Monday, April 30th, 2012: GOP War on Women, the Latest Skirmish


H/T Think Progress and Crooks and Liars

Before I even saw yesterday’s Meet The Press, I had already run across several idiotic comments purporting to explain the difference in pay between women and men for doing the same job with the same qualifications. The slimebucket Alex Castellanos, whose rudeness and oily, condescending misogyny reminded me of Dick Armey’s run-in with Joan Walsh, illustrated once again how GOP bootlickers can be such pigs. But apparently it’s not just male GOP pundits who feel and act this way. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), also on the panel, dismissed the discussion entirely as a ‘distraction’ from the real issues of ‘economics and jobs.’ Of course, when Rachel Maddow then asked why, if the economy and jobs were so important to the GOP, so many Republican State Legislatures were pushing and passing laws which limit women’s reproductive rights, re-fighting settled abortion law and intruding on a doctor’s relationship with his patient. Alex Castellanos trotted out some crap about this ‘distraction from the issues’ being President Obama’s modus operandi (at which point I would probably have gotten up and slapped that slimey smile off of his face.)

Other recent blog threads, both those about this subject and some that had nothing to do with it, have brought out some of the dumbest defenders of, and supposed explanations of why women are paid less than men. Here’s a few examples:

“We must’ve seen different videos. I don’t know Alex, but I saw him try to offer a calm reasoning for this difference and was shut down as if he were a buttinsky. He wasn’t.”

On a thread regarding the suicide of a 16-year-old Moroccan girl who committed suicide after being forced to marry her rapist, comments ranged from the subject itself, to the Trayvon Martin case, then to women’s rights in America:

“Yes, but let’s not negate the issues that face American women. Are we to be grateful that we make 70 cents to every man’s dollar? That men want to make decisions for us about whether we use contraception or what our insurance pays for when drugs specific to their sexual pleasure are covered in full? There is still ground to be covered in this country despite the fact that we don’t have threats such as that faced by this poor young girl and that should not be forgotten.”

This comment was countered with:

“…name the insurance companies that pay for “drugs specific to their sexual pleasure are covered in full?” I am a nurse and have male patients who have erectile dysfunction as side effects of medications they need to take for other medical conditions and they haven’t found any insurance company that pays for erectile dysfunction medications. Also, erectile dysfunction medications should be considered preventative medicine as medical studies have indicated that there is a higher risk of prostate cancer among men who aren’t sexually active. Birth control isn’t preventative medicine as pregnancy isn’t a disease nor is it an abnormal physical condition. Unplanned pregnancy is a social problem, not a medical problem. Contraception enables us to have sex without the risk of pregnancy (ie. sex for pleasure and fun rather than for what it is biologically and physiologically intended for), making sex possible as a form of entertainment. Should health insurance cover other forms of entertainment, too? We should make our own decisions about contraception, take the responsibility for our own sexual behavior, and stop demanding that everyone else pay for our decisions and pleasures — not to mention, stop blaming men because some women want the right to be treated like responsible, mature, accomplished women while demanding that they be treated like irresponsible children when it comes to their sexual behavior. We “make 70 cents to every man’s dollar” has largely been debunked upon further examination. Men tend to work longer hours than women do, tend to take the most dangerous jobs, tend to work in jobs under harsher environmental and physical conditions, and men tend to spend more years of their lives working than women do. Currently there are more unemployed men than there are unemployed women and there has been a trend toward preferential hiring practices geared toward women.”

…and…

“Feminists never know when to stop”

…and…

“Be thankful for what you do have or you’ll always just be focused on what you don’t”

…and…

“Wow women make 70% of what men make!!! Where are these women? If I could lower my payroll by 30% just by hiring women, I’d do that in a heartbeat… and so would every major employer in the country. Get your facts straight before you spout nonsense. Women on average earn less because they place a lower priority on earnings and a higher priority on family and time off. Women who put in the same hours and commitment as their male counterparts are often promoted first.”

…and

“We women make 70 cents to every man’s dollar, because we do less work in the same hour.”

And comments from the Think Progress thread on this topic, particularly from one commenter:

“Castellanos is more correct than maddow is. In the past, maddow argument was true. But when you compare job to job, hours to hours, time at work to time at work… woman MAKE THE SAME amount as men. If woman want to make more, go to law school, med school, engineering school, MBA school and get high paying degrees. Woman go into nursing, teaching, secretarial, waitressing etc.. that pay crappy. For the same work, for the vast numbers in 2012, they make the same.”

…and…

“if you want a competitive salary, get a competitive education. Get a competitive job and keep it. I don’t see any of the woman billionaire industrialists like Meg Whitman complaining about their salaries. But I do hear a bunch of poorly educated woman (and men) complaining that they don’t make as much money as they “deserve.”
Tough. The market determines what you “deserve.” If you think you deserve more, quit your low paying job, start a company and produce the product that will earn you your “deserved” salary”

…and…

“I just know in the areas I move in… medicine and hospitals, clinics. Plus I have extensive networks of legal friends. Pay is based on productivity. One of the highest paid professional I know is a female surgeon. Works 80 hours a week and earns every penny she makes. The secretaries, nurses, clerks, billers, accountants etc are paid hourly. The more you work, the more overtime you put in, the fewer vacations you take, the more you make.”

…and, finally…

“If you want a high paying job, get an education, put in the hours, or form a company and produce some social/economic good that will make the world a better place (and bring you financial success). Then you will be paid more. If not, sit at home and whine.”

I don’t know about you, but this crap is really starting to get to me.

This is our daily open thread — Have at it!

Sunday Roast: The President owns the Whitehouse Correspondents’ Dinner

Heh.  The President killed at last night’s Nerd Prom…

What’s the difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull?

Pitbull is delicious.

Cue that awful woman from Alaska to whine that the President is attacking her.  Ha!  I think Michelle didn’t know that one was coming. 

This is our daily open thread — Enjoy!

The Watering Hole, Saturday, April 28th, 2012: I Got Nothin’, So Here’s Some Skunk Kittens

Skunk Kittens!

Belz, Lissa and skunk kit
In the olden days, when I used to feed the stray cats outside on our deck, occasionally a litter of skunks would join the cats and kittens. They seemed to get along fairly well, and no one got sprayed, despite the fact that, if one of the skunk kits wanted total control of a food dish, the kit would back its butt up against the feline kittens until the feline kitten moved to another dish. I remember one time walking out the screen door with a couple of plates of food in my hands, and felt a paw grabbing at the edge of a plate – it was one of the skunk kits, standing on its hind legs next to me, apparently anxious for its dinner. Skunk kittens are almost as cute as feline kittens, and about as friendly.

Until or unless I come up with something better, this is our daily open thread — What’s on your mind today?

Music Night, April 27 2012: A Bit of History

I remember rock music being more provincial in the late 60s. Yes, there were national acts like the Byrds and international acts (obviously) but they were mainstream and promoted on AM radio. What was emerging was an alternative: quiet spoken dj’s playing long cuts from people you’d never heard of, on FM radio. Not much advertising because no one bought ads on FM and much more regional music. West Coast and New York did not co-exist, while a ton of great British music went largely unheard in the States.

Somehow, I got keyed in to New York’s music (and would wait decades to hear the Pink Fairies, Atomic Rooster and Stone the Crows, but that’s another story). At this time it may be hard to imagine the Velvet Underground as obscure, or knowing only the vaguest bit about Iggy & the Stooges (they had music in the Midwest?), but for me, stuck in California, this was strange and exotic stuff. Oh, and the Fuggs. And Pearls Before Swine… But I digress.

This video is a fascinating look at a brief slice of the time.

The Watering Hole: April 27 — Norway sings of hope and togetherness, in the face of murderous hate

On April 26, 2012, 40,000 Norwegian people came together to sing a beloved children’s song Barn av regnbuen (Children of the Rainbow), which is a translation of Pete Seeger’s song, My Rainbow Race.  They did this in response to the claim by horrific mass-murderer, Anders Behring Breivik, that the song indoctrinated the children of Norway — to love and accept everyone via multiculturalism.  I won’t try to make sense of the diseased brain of Brevik.

The song, which promotes and hails multiculturalism, was performed by [Lillebjørn] Nilsen and a crowd of more than 40,000 people in Youngstorget in Oslo, on April 26, 2012, as part of a protest march against the actions of Anders Behring Breivik after the July 22 attacks in 2011. The performance was arranged as a Facebook event by two volunteers after Breivik claimed, during his trial, that the song was being used to “brainwash” Norwegian children. The song was thus performed a few days later, in the midst of the ongoing trial, followed by a march up to the site of the trial, where the crowd laid down flowers.

They came together, not in hate or to spite Brevik, but to take back their much-beloved song. A mass murderer would not be allowed to define the intent of the song, nor would he be allowed to turn them into fearful, distrustful people.

The United States understood this in the days following September 11, 2001. Then the hate-mongerers and corporate profit machine decided that there was more money in making and keeping the people scared out of their wits. So many of us, beaten down by years and years of joblessness and fear generated by the seemingly endless economic downturn, fell for the scape-goating tactics of the hate merchants, and our society continues to suffer to this day.

As a people, Americans need to put aside our fear, hate, and distrust, in order to fight back against the profit-driven machine that is destroying us. We have never before been so divided as a nation, and I don’t care what they say on Fox (hate-mongering corporate profit machine) or any other corporate-owned media says, President Obama is not the one dividing us.

Ben Franklin said it best, although in a different context: “We must hang together, gentlemen…else, we shall most assuredly hang separately.”

I am sick of the death spiral of this country, and I want to stop it.  We — all of us together — need to take this country back from the ruling class.  How can we do it?

Shall we sing?  What song would bring us together as a nation?

PS:  I just saw that Rachel Maddow covered this on her show last night!  Best thing in the world!

This is our daily open thread — TGIF!