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February 07, 2011

Mother Jones: "Chrysler's Deplorable "Detroit" Super Bowl Ad"

Chrysler's Deplorable "Detroit" Super Bowl Ad | Mother Jones
But there's a lot to dislike here: the fact that a major bailout recipient is dishing beaucoup bucks for a one-off ad to boost its image; the cynical racism (or at least colonialism) of positioning Chrysler as a tough, gritty, 8 Mile-style brand that's perfect for what marketers call the "urban core" demographic; and using Detroit poverty porn to hawk your product while simultaneously trying to deride the media's recent Detroit poverty porn. (To be fair, maybe Chrysler ended up with a crappy commercial because the word's out on Madison Avenue that Chrysler also counts its advertising firms among the many parties it screws over. One of its previous ad execs complained that Chrysler "makes cars which no one wants and continues to throw money at them...and now, they want us to bail them out.) But most appalling is the idea that Chrysler is one of the great things about gritty Detroit and America, when in fact it's one of the corporate locusts that choked the city and nation purple with its credit-backed gobbling of skilled labor and its excretion of abandoned worker plants.

February 06, 2011

The Siege of Planned Parenthood

The Siege of Planned Parenthood - NYTimes.com
As if we didn’t have enough wars, the House of Representatives has declared one against Planned Parenthood. ...they’re going after an organization that provides millions of women with both family-planning services and basic health medical care, like pap smears and screening for diabetes, breast cancer, cervical cancer and sexually transmitted diseases. Our legislative slogan for 2011: Let Them Use Leeches. “What is more fiscally responsible than denying any and all funding to Planned Parenthood of America?” demanded Representative Mike Pence of Indiana, the chief sponsor of a bill to bar the government from directing any money to any organization that provides abortion services. Planned Parenthood doesn’t use government money to provide abortions; Congress already prohibits that, except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. ... Planned Parenthood does pay for its own abortion services, though, and that’s what makes them a target. Pence has 154 co-sponsors for his bill. He was helped this week by an anti-abortion group called Live Action, which conducted a sting operation at 12 Planned Parenthood clinics in six states, in an effort to connect the clinic staff to child prostitution. “Planned Parenthood aids and abets the sexual abuse and prostitution of minors,” announced Lila Rose, the beautiful anti-abortion activist who led the project. The right wing is currently chock-full of stunning women who want to end their gender’s right to control their own bodies. Homely middle-aged men are just going to have to find another sex to push around.

February 01, 2011

Judge kills Affordable Care Act

Healthcare law: Federal judge declares healthcare law unconstitutional - latimes.com
A federal judge in Florida dealt President Obama's healthcare overhaul a sweeping blow Monday, ruling the law unconstitutional because of its requirement that Americans have health insurance starting in 2014. U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson declined to suspend the law but said the government should abide by his ruling, potentially complicating implementation in some states. The Washington lawyer who represented the 26 states in the lawsuit said the ruling freed them from complying with its provisions, including requirements not to cut people from their Medicaid programs, as some governors say they want to do. "For the 26 states that were parties to this suit, the entire statute is dead," said David B. Rivkin Jr. "The decision has immediate force, and it means all the new Medicaid stuff is gone." Obama administration officials disputed Rivkin's analysis and indicated they would appeal Vinson's decision. "We don't believe this kind of judicial activism will be upheld and we are confident that the Affordable Care Act will ultimately be declared constitutional," Assistant to the President Stephanie Cutter said in a White House blog post.

January 29, 2011

American immigration officials turning away asylum-seeking gays for not looking gay enough

Joe. My. God.: Too Butch For Asylum
“Judges and immigration officials are adding a new hurdle in gay asylum cases that an applicant’s homosexuality must be socially visible,” said Lori Adams, a lawyer at Human Rights First, a nonprofit group, who advises people seeking asylum based on sexuality. “The rationale is that if you don’t look obviously gay, you can go home and hide your sexuality and don’t need to be worried about being persecuted.” Jhuan Marrero, 18, who was born in Venezuela but has lived — illegally — in New York since he was 4, said the immigration officer at his asylum interview last week challenged him about his macho demeanor. “I was brought up by my parents to walk and talk like a man,” said Mr. Marrero, who volunteers at the Queens Pride House, a gay and lesbian center in Jackson Heights. “The officer said: ‘You’re not a transsexual. You don’t look gay. How are you at risk?’ I insisted that if I was sent back to Venezuela, I would speak out about being gay and suffer the consequences.”