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.”


“Feminists never know when to stop”


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


“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.”


“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.”


“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”


“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!

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

  1. Health Reform in Action: 15 Million Customers to Receive $1.3 Billion in Insurance Refunds

    I am running out of ways to say Obamacare works. Here’s one way to say it: this year, 15 million people will receive checks from their health insurance companies totaling $1.3 billion

    This comes from something called the Medical Loss Ratio requirement: the requirement in the Affordable Care Act that insurance companies must spend at least 80% of premiums in individual and small group markets – 85% in large group markets – to actually provide health care. If they don’t, they must issue refunds to their subscribers to make up for the extra amount they took in. That requirement went into effect in 2011, and the first checks are due to be issued by this August.

    I wonder how many Teabagggers will still want to repeal ACA when they get their checks? This seems perfectly timed to thwart the Repeal Obamacare crowd as the election campaigns heat up.

  2. Happy Birthday Gummitch! Celebrate!

    I realize this is just one anecdote regarding equal pay. Many firms discourage co-workers from discussing their salaries, so like Ms. Ledbetter the women don’t know when they’re underpaid. When my husband became a manager he was assigned two employees with the same job title and responsibilities. The woman had more education, experience, performance, and time with the company were roughly equal. Both employees were african-american, so race was not a factor. He was paid 120K, she was paid 60K. 😯

    • And yet that Alex Dickface Castellanos insists that women are not paid any less than men. It’s called “lying”, Alex, and you’ve been caught doing it – again! I wonder if Rachel will have anything to say about it on her show tonight. She seemed pretty upset not only by his lying, but by his condescending attitude toward her about it. I really wish they would stop booking the two of them on the same program. He just keeps getting smarmier and smarmier.

  3. We need to get some facts out into the open.
    First: Republicans are not born. They are pod people. Germinated in dark caves and never exposed to sunlight (this explains Boehners unnatural orange glow).
    Having no mothers they therefore have no appreciation for anything other than fellow pod people.

  4. As for the topic at hand…

    The one comment that stood out for me (as all of the others seem like the same old tired arguments) was this: “Should health insurance cover other forms of entertainment, too?”

    The answer to that is that we already do…

    If someone say rides dirt bikes on the weekends and wipes out and breaks their arm or leg or gets burned on the tailpipe of the motorbike, then they get treated at the hospital for their accident and their insurance pays for it.

    If someone crashes while hot air ballooning, they are treated at the local hospital and their insurance pays for it.

    If someone spends their existence sitting in the smoke filled rooms of a casino entertaining themselves by gambling and then develops lung issues, guess what? Insurance pays for it.

    There are other examples where we pay for “entertainment.”

    I get so tired of so-called “nurses” saying that pregnancy is not a medical problem. Bullshit. It is a medical condition and is (and should be) treated as such. Most of these stupid bullshit comments come from men who don’t have the first clue about what it means to be pregnant or how that affects EVERY aspect of a woman’s life.

    And the last time I checked, women aren’t blaming men for their choices, they are asking men (at least the Republican men in Congress) to quit voting against allowing women to make choices for themselves by forcing women into an unwanted pregnancy.

    At the same time all of this is going on, there is a new women’s clinic opening in the Gilbert area that seeks to deal with women’s sexual health issues… the initial 4 hour! consultation costs $2000 and ISN’T covered by insurance … now you tell me, what class of woman is going to be able to afford that? (answer: Only women with Romney-type money.)

    Rant over.

    • Let us all hope that “women with Romey-type money” go for it, each and every one of them! I wish them godspeed and terrific/tremendous success in all their contraceptive efforts, only wish that George Romney’s wife would have done the same.

    • Pregnancy is not a medical illness, but it is a medical condition, and it does require the services of medical professionals if you want to make sure the baby is born healthy. It is true that Human women gave birth for millenia before we had OB/GYNs and other birthing professionals, but we also had very high infant mortality rates.

      If Republicans want to insist that a fetus is a human being with all the citizenship rights that normally come once you’re actually born, then they should recognize that the unborn baby is a medical patient that needs care, too.

    • First of all, I am a nurse and not all nurses would agree with your statement. Pregnancy is a medical/physical condition that should be covered just like other medical/physical conditions. When I think of medical, I think of medicine and unfortunately, many physicians are hung up with prescribing drugs as the first treatment for a physical condition when there are often times alternative methods of treating a physical condition. Most health insurance won’t pay for alternative treatments even though these treatments are often times cheaper.

      That is too sad about the new women’s clinic. It is probably a corporately owned business. At the $2000.00 price without insurance coverage, they probably won’t remain open for too long. This is why Planned Parenthood is important. Women can be treated and received “consultations” at an affordable price.

      • I don’t understand. Didn’t I say that I thought that pregnancy was a medical condition? I was calling out the “nurse” in Jane’s post, which I don’t really think is a nurse, or if the writer was a nurse, then he is a man and doesn’t get pregnancy.

        Are you saying there are nurses that don’t consider pregnancy a medical condition? If not, then what do they consider it?

        • In my perspective, medical conditions require medicine. If no medicine is required then it is a physical condition or a psychological condition. That is how I perceive it.

          • Interesting perspective. But. Do you not prescribe prenatal vitamins for the woman? Does one not recommend avoidance of alcohol, tobacco and caffeine? Is this done only for the fetus?
            I will think about your perspective.

    • The perps only got six years!!??
      On the other hand, a brave woman brought down some of the corrupt and powerful.

  5. In re the nonsensical opposition to contraception (and insurance paying for same): We’re ALL better served by lower human birthrates! Every living creature on the bloody planet, including humans, are better served if less humans are born on any given day. Period. There are a few billion too many of ‘us’ already, and we should all be extremely grateful that contraception is available, first of all, and we should be all of us willing to help pay the tab in whichever small way we’re asked to do.

    I get so goddamned sick and tired of the humans are ‘special’ bullshit! Talk about intellectual shallowness! Wolves and polar bears might be considered special, even skunks might be considered to be special, but NOT humans!


      • Sure, we can all fit into Jacksonville’s city limits standing shoulder to shoulder. Of course Duggar’ll say we’re not overpopulated – until the fat guy standing next to her wants to take a dump.

      • Yes, she’s wrong. There are 767 sq. miles of land in Jacksonville. Giving each person a sq. yard, with 3,097,600 sq. yards/acre that would allow for 2,375,859,200 people to stand around in Jacksonville, just about 1/3 of the world’s population.

        I just hope they figure out what they’re going to do with all the shit they’ll produce before they let them in!

        • I was listening to a segment on NPR on Saturday and the author being interviewed traveled to foreign countries to use their public transportation, he came away with the feeling that we Americans have a “luxury of space” — he went on to elaborate how people in other portions of the world are shoved into such crowded conditions that it was a luxury just to be able to go to a small hotel room, take a shower in private and lay down in a bed (twin size) all of his own when most people of the world spend their whole lives sleeping in communal beds and taking communal showers/baths. It was an interesting perspective.

      • “I agree with Mother Teresa when she said, ‘to say that there are too many children is like saying there are too many flowers,'” Duggar said.

        How many shitty landfill-stable diapers do a billion flowers use (each and every day)?

        What a nutcase she is.

  6. Funny times at the Correpsondents’ Dinner.

    Rick Santorum pulls out again ….. this time he pulled his camera out and snapped a posed shot of just Lindsay Lohan. Afterwards he said he couldn’t remember doing it. Yeah right Frothy, go home and tighten your celice a few more turns while moaning her name…. you know you wants you some Bad Girl.

  7. Thanks, y’all. If nothing else goes wrong today I’m scheduled to have dinner with my kids (on them). We’ll be having mezza at Ya Halal, Baba ganoush!

  8. In the earliest 70s, I worked for a food processing plant near Modesto. After I’d been there less than a year, I was earning more money than women who had been on the line for 20 years. When I asked a few of them if they weren’t pissed off about this, I was told “Oh, no. They’re doing men’s work. They should get more.”

    In truth the work they did was mind-numbing in its monotony and anyone of them could easily have done the work I was assigned. By the time I left, toward the end of 1972, there was one woman working in maintenance (that’s where the big bucks were, in overtime). 40 years later and little has changed.

    • “Right you are Kenny!”

      The BEST show on television. The American version has its moments, but was over produced – this has that ‘early Doctor Who’ feel to the whole thing and the bad-lip-sync improv translations were hilarious.

      SammytheTurtle would ‘extend her day’ beyond bedtime upstairs watching the main bedroom TV with me until the guffaws of laughter gave us away.

  9. I was shocked this morning to hear on NPR this morning: the Republicans are the real radicals.

    The authors make no secret of whom they blame for most of the dysfunction in Congress — the Republican Party. And Ornstein says some of his colleagues at AEI, which is known as a conservative-leaning think tank, “are going to be quite uncomfortable” with his position.

      • I knew a lady once that called her dog “Dammit.” I loved to visit her in my teens, she was the mom of a couple of professional wrestlers.

  10. Castellanos argument: “This woman doctor makes a six-figure salary while a waiter makes barely five-figures. Where is your job pay inequality NOW?”

  11. Happy Natalistic day gummitch!
    And to those (sorry Geico guys) cavemen who believe wimmen are for smakin upside da head widda club and sexin up… Learn how to read, analyze real data or STFU!

  12. So they don’t believe any of the other science, but they run with this one. I wonder how hot a pollution producing plant makes things? Or a nuclear plant. That’s okay, apparently.

    Wind farms are warming the earth, researchers say | Fox News

    New research finds that wind farms actually warm up the surface of the land underneath them during the night, a phenomena that could put a damper on efforts to expand wind energy as a green energy solution.

    Researchers used satellite data from 2003 to 2011 to examine surface temperatures across as wide swath of west Texas, which has built four of the world’s largest wind farms. The data showed a direct correlation between night-time temperatures increases of 0.72 degrees C (1.3 degrees F) and the placement of the farms.

  13. Hi, gang. I spent a very fun weekend in the country chasing vultures and hawks with the model glider. I also drank a little too much beer and had a long conversation with a Great Horned Owl Saturday night. I don’t think I thought of politics even once.

      • The old skills are returning. I had one flight where I ran the motor for 25 seconds on launch and stayed up for a little over 30 minutes. Of course, I have to give some credit to the vultures. I just followed them around and didn’t really have to work at finding lift myself.

        • Speaking/writing of lift: the tiercel Peregrine has an affinity for water birds!
          He’ll hunt about eight blocks away on the Guadalupe River – catch an Avocet..
          lumber back and have a hell of a time getting lift to take the prey up to the scrape to feed the young ones!
          Yesterday it took him about six – eight minutes to finally get enough lift.
          He’s also brought in a Ruddy Duck! Generally pigeons and doves are caught by he and the female.
          There are four chicks so the parents are on the hunt a great deal of the time!

          It’s wonderful, marvelous, calming, soothing watching the majestic Peregrines in flight. It is our PT (peregrine therapy)!

    • To those five I would add, (6) Tax cuts for workers net them more disposable income, because employers know what workers will accept as a standard of living, and will reduce compensation in order to be the real beneficiary of their employees’ lower taxes, and
      (7) lowering top tax rates and eliminating loopholes is fair to the lower brackets. How many times has this ‘bait and switch scheme’ been perpetrated on the average Americans? The base rate keeps getting lower, but the lobbyists always get the loopholes back over time, and each time, it was portrayed as ‘fair’, because the wealthy were giving up the loopholes willingly, thus they didn’t ‘deserve’ to pay more in the trade.

  14. Not sure if anyone else watched the Manchester Derby this afternoon. Cracker of a game. City clearly deserved the win. Man U may finally loose a title, and it’s not to Chelsea or Arsenal!

  15. Couldn’t have said it better myself. The Implosion of Capitalism
    Monday, 30 April 2012 09:08 By Chris Hedges, Truthdig | Op-Ed

    When civilizations start to die they go insane. Let the ice sheets in the Arctic melt. Let the temperatures rise. Let the air, soil and water be poisoned. Let the forests die. Let the seas be emptied of life. Let one useless war after another be waged. Let the masses be thrust into extreme poverty and left without jobs while the elites, drunk on hedonism, accumulate vast fortunes through exploitation, speculation, fraud and theft. Reality, at the end, gets unplugged. We live in an age when news consists of Snooki’s pregnancy, Hulk Hogan’s sex tape and Kim Kardashian’s denial that she is the naked woman cooking eggs in a photo circulating on the Internet. Politicians, including presidents, appear on late night comedy shows to do gags and they campaign on issues such as creating a moon colony. “[A]t times when the page is turning,” Louis-Ferdinand Celine wrote in “Castle to Castle,” “when History brings all the nuts together, opens its Epic Dance Halls! hats and heads in the whirlwind! Panties overboard!”

    The quest by a bankrupt elite in the final days of empire to accumulate greater and greater wealth, as Karl Marx observed, is modern society’s version of primitive fetishism. This quest, as there is less and less to exploit, leads to mounting repression, increased human suffering, a collapse of infrastructure and, finally, collective death. It is the self-deluded, those on Wall Street or among the political elite, those who entertain and inform us, those who lack the capacity to question the lusts that will ensure our self-annihilation, who are held up as exemplars of intelligence, success and progress. The World Health Organization calculates that one in four people in the United States suffers from chronic anxiety, a mood disorder or depression—which seems to me to be a normal reaction to our march toward collective suicide. Welcome to the asylum.

    • Great Post. Says it all in a nutshell.
      When you got nothin, you got nothin to lose.

      And the bozos in my van pool endlessly chatter about the stars on Next Idiot Entertainer and all the Jersey Whore shows they watch…

    • I was fascinated when I learned about things living organisms do to survive. Humans, for example, sweat when body temperature rises and shiver to combat the lack of heat. But when our bodies exceed certain limits and we get too hot or too cold, we die. Realizing that Earth is also a living organism its not difficult to envision the billions of deaths to Earth’s various life forms that will result from mankind’s stupidity. I don’t have any faith in man’s ability to prevent it. Hopefully I’ll never live to see that day, but then I remember having speculated that I might never live to see a black President of the USA.

      Hopefully I will live long enough to see our first female President. We do need someone to clean up the fucking mess men have made!

  16. gummitch is having another birthday! Crap you people are really getting old.
    Well enjoy your dinner gummitch and make sure to post pictures. I predict in your next life you’re going to be a food stylist or photographer. And have a Happy Day.

  17. I’ve got news for all the homophobes. At my daughter’s HS everybody knows and is friends with the gay kids and they are friends with the rest of the kids and only the parents are kept out of the loop. Two gay boys my daughter is friends with each decided they have girls they like and have relationships with. Their friends are more concerned that these relationships are not good for them than they would be if they had boyfriends.

      • The one where the couple have been involved for a while the girl knew. The other boy is a sophomore and the girl doesn’t believe him. I think the first girl thinks she’s hot enough to change him. Butreally I think she’s the boss and leading him down a sad path.

  18. Rays of hope here and there (from MSNBC):

    A federal judge on Monday blocked a Texas rule that would have excluded Planned Parenthood from participating in the state’s women’s health program.

    In a win for Planned Parenthood, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel ruled Monday there was sufficient evidence the state rule barring Planned Parenthood is unconstitutional. He imposed a temporary injunction against enforcing it until he can hear full arguments.
    The rule forbids state agencies from providing funds to an organization affiliated with abortion providers. It was set to go into effect on Tuesday…
    “Texas Governor Rick Perry and some Republican lawmakers have said they would rather eliminate the women’s healthcare program entirely than direct money to Planned Parenthood clinics.”

    Fuck You PRicky.

  19. Buying Congressman is easy. What Citizens United hath wrought:

    “Both incumbents and potential challengers realize that a deep-pocketed PAC could decide their race. So when they get a call from that PAC’s director urging them to support this or that, they’re that much likelier to listen. The result, then, isn’t just that moneyed interests can throw congressional elections. It’s that they wield more influence after the election — and they can exercise that power without spending a dollar.”

  20. I found this quote by Katrina vanden Heuvel on facebook, but don’t have a link to the source:

    So yes, Rick Santorum. Yes, Mitt Romney. Yes, Paul Ryan and Republican politicians all over this nation. You are right, as right as you’ve ever been. There is a moral crisis in this country. A horrifyingly, back-breaking, bankrupt-the-core-of-this-nati​on style crisis. But it isn’t women or the poor or the middle class or the gay community or health-care advocates or environmentalists that are causing it.

    It’s you.

  21. One minor correction: at 4:03 is definitely not a Red-winged Blackbird..possibly a Song Sparrow.
    It’s a very decent video.

  22. From a TP post on the insane increase in gun sales due to folks believing that Obama is surely coming at any moment to finally take their guns:
    “Royal Oak-based Target Sports normally sells about 10 guns a day, but that has increased to 30 a day this year, owner Ray Jihad said.”
    Leaving aside the fact that 30 sales a day in one store is crazy, do you suppose any of the paranoid people have noticed the guy’s last name?

    • Point: Dennis LaBonte, who told CNN he was a military veteran and the “imperial wizard” of a KKK chapter, said the approximately 10 members of the group came in “support of the [white] troops.”

      Counterpoint: WBC member Abigail Phelps said the KKK “have no moral authority on anything.”

      I think it’s a draw. 😉

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