This week, it’s all about binary questions: Is Liz Lemon still a feminist icon or now an adult baby? Is porn good for your sex life or bad for your sex life? The production of millions of condoms is a good thing, right? But what if they’re made in China? The case against and the case for Liz…
SNL has an actually funny and actually informative round-up of all the bullshit last week.
This is a great cartoon from Jim Morin in the Miami Herald that pretty much sums up last week’s “religious freedom” debate around birth control coverage.
Image credit: chesepeakeclimate
The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline was dealt a big blow in the 24 hours during which you asked your friends, family and neighbors to weigh in on it. In 24 hours, 800,000 of us raised our voices on this matter and yesterday all of your letters – that’s right, all of them – were hand delivered to Capitol Hill.
Every once in a while an opportunity comes along for all of us to be the solution. This is one of those times. We’re collecting a half million messages to stop the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline in the next 24 hours.
This dirty, dangerous tar sands pipeline is not in the national interest. It’s that simple. And the United States Senate, officials of both parties, need to hear that message loud and clear and fast because some of them are threatening to push a bill as soon as Tuesday, to approve it.
In sci-fi news, scientists are working on a prosthetic testicle that creates and ejects human sperm for men missing one or both testicles who want to procreate. Yale Sex Week, once banned, is in full swing right now. Ron Paul says abortion is okay only when it’s an “honest rape,” you know, as opposed to all…
We both enjoy playing Texas Hold ‘Em, but of the two of us, I (Lo) enjoy it a little too much. So much so that when I just need a night away from it all, I go to Foxwoods to play the low limit table with a bunch of 65 year old men, half of whom have a drinking problem, the other half of whom have a gambling problem. It’s not as sinful or sexy as Vegas, naturally, but it does the trick.
Article: President Obama stands up to big oil
Photo by Emma Cassidy, licensed under a Creative Commons license
Let’s face it: Big Oil is used to getting its way. But not today… and we have President Obama to thank for standing up to them in spite of the political risk.
President Obama has just rejected a permit for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline — a project that promised riches for the oil giants and an environmental disaster for the rest of us.
His decision represents a victory of historic proportions for people from throughout the pipeline path and all across America who have waged an uphill, years-long fight against one of the most nightmarish fossil fuel projects of our time.
But make no mistake: Big Oil is going to fight back hard and fast.
Women’s reproductive rights haven’t been this threatened by a group of Republican presidential hopefuls in decades. As Rachel Maddow summarized brilliantly the other night, Rick Santorum, “libertarian” Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Perry have all signed pledges backing the Personhood movement that aims to make all abortions illegal (even in the case of rape and incest) by defining fertilized eggs as people, which would in turn ban most forms of birth control. Mitt Romney hasn’t signed anything yet, nor did he attend the Presidential Prolife Forum in South Caroline this past Wednesday like all the others, but he did tell Mike Huckabee last October that he “absolutely” would have supported a personhood amendment to his state’s constitution when he was Governor of Massachusetts. Rick Santorum is the only one — so far — who’s actually said out loud that birth control is “not okay” and is a dangerous problem in this country, but that kind of thinking is basically built into the personhood movement (whether these candidates, who will say anything to appease their religious base, realize it or not). So you know where these guys stand.
The Atlantic highlighted this odd, to say the least, photo found on Newt Gingrich’s website of the suited up presidential hopeful and his wife Callista posing in front of the gates of Auschwitz, the Nazi concentration camp. This might seem like a cheap shot at a presidential candidate, but regardless of the individual, there’s a weird tone-deaf vibe and lack of awareness to this photo that gives me the same discomfort I feel whenever I see tourists posing with bright smiles in front of somber sites or memorials of great loss.
Many Internet memes belong to the subgenre of image macros that includes superimposing a certain Photoshopped picture (most recent example: Pepper Spraying Cop) With the above, unfortunate photo Newt Gingrich might enter a pantheon that is even more indelible than being POTUS: A new meme.
With Santorum’s recent surge in the polls, it’s important to take time out to remind ourselves what a crazy sex-police zealot he is:
Writing about Santorum’s “Google problem,” a New York Times writer says Dan Savage’s prank was in response merely to the senator’s opposition to gay marriage, so Dan Savage sets him straight (try Santorum’s comparison of homosexuality to bestiality and child rape); the writer corrects his mistake.
On Funny or Die, Dan Savage comedically threatens to change the definition of the name “Rick” if Santorum doesn’t agree to stop attacking gay people during his campaign.
Through our friend, Lynn Harris, writer, co-creator of Breakup Girl, and now communications strategist for something called Breakthrough, we heard about a “Rewrite the Ending” contest (which ended last month):
Show of hands- How many of you wish that:
- Andy (Pretty in Pink) had ended up with Ducky?
- After Willy dies (Death of a Salesman), his wife gets a great sales job without having to play the “poor widow” card?
- When Simran’s father finally releases her hand (Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge), she runs for the train to Goa and finds happiness on her own?
- Ariel (Little Mermaid) had kept her voice and won American Idol.
In other words: How often have you been enjoying a book, movie, play, or TV episode…when all of a sudden things take a turn for the sexist, misogynist, needlessly violent, or worse? Have you ever wished you could jump into a story, shout at the characters, grab the pen (or keyboard) of the writer, and make it turn out the way you think it should?
Of course we have! So I (Lo) entered the contest (you could do it via Twitter, Facebook or email, from 140 characters up to a couple hundred words). Here was my entry:
Photo credit: tarsandaction
The Congress is ending the year much as it began — playing politics with our nation’s future and putting American families at risk to score partisan points.
In the closing act to a shameful year of paralysis and indecision on the issues that matter most, House Republicans held common-sense tax relief for American families hostage to a holiday gift to Big Oil.
After the GOP-led House welded the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline rider onto the tax-relief bill, the Democratic-led Senate went along for the ride, passing a bad piece of legislation rather than being accused of blocking a needed tax cut.
When the United State Congress intentionally ties these two things together, though, it’s not a joke: it’s a national disgrace.
Photo credit: EcoWatch
This week the GOP leadership, once again, has sided with Big Oil against the will of the American people. They are trying to circumvent President Obama’s decision to further investigate the impacts of the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. GOP leadership is instead advocating for granting the permit now, or else they will hold up important legislation meant to benefit real people’s real lives.
They want you to believe it’s about jobs, but that’s not what the facts bear out. Just take a look.
We all know about Rick Perry’s slaughter on human decency–now the most unliked video on Youtube. I hope every time he talks about gay people in the American Military a gay man gets married to somebody he loves. But Rick Perry’s not the only person running ridiculous ads in the Republican primaries. Sure, they might not be as outwardly as homophobic, but it still terrifies me that these people could become president (well, except Herman Cain–how we miss him). Oh, hell, it scares me that these videos were even made in the first place! Here are five of the best:
Article: Dam graffiti in Ventura County
I was blown away when I first saw this photo. I thought the clever imagery was absolutely brilliant, but I suspected it was probably too good to be true and Photoshop had to be involved. It turns out some things that are too good to be true can actually be true. An anonymous group of guerrilla artists rappelled down the wall back in September to paint this environmentally conscious, large-scale mark on the 200 foot Matilija Dam in Ventura County.
Article: The forward momentum of gay rights
We mentioned a recent Pew Research Center survey earlier this week (in Naked News) that shows how public acceptance of same-sex marriage has grown in the past two years, jumping by 9 percentage points, making the country now evenly divided on the issue, with 46% in support legalization and 44% opposed. While reading up on the topic, we found two interesting infographics, both of which show the progress that’s been made in the gay rights movement…
“This is American democracy at its best: a President who listens to the voice of the people and shows the courage to do what’s right for the country. Thank you, Mr. President, for standing up to Big Oil. Thank you for standing up for us all.” – Robert Redford on Keystone XL Pipeline decision, Nov. 10, 2011.
It’s been a tumultuous year for one of our favorite artists, Ai Weiwei who, after his 81 day long detention, was slammed with a punitive $2.4 million tax bill from the Chinese government. In a testament to his wide appeal and support, The New York Times reported that “thousands of people have responded by contributing money in a gesture that is at once benevolent and subversive” and “more than 20,000 people have together contributed at least $840,000.” This is unsurprising to any student of history or political movements…
Wait, that title didn’t come out quite right. “Man cave” is not meant as a euphemism here, especially for Rachel Maddow’s lady parts (for several reasons). No, the “man cave” is just one of her dorky gimmicks whereby she tells her female viewers to take a break and pops a brewskie, puts up some sport paraphernalia and just talks to the dudes. (For a feminist lesbian, she sure likes to play-up gender stereotypes!) Her latest man cave episode involved explaining how egg fertilization happens within the female reproductive tract, because a lot of people, including Mitt Romney, don’t quite have it down. Nor do they understand how many forms of birth control work – birth control many of them use!…
Article: A GOP glossary
Our friend Geoff Rice, a nimble Facebook poster and hilarious bleeding-heart liberal, recently began a GOP/Tea Party glossary in public “Note” form, defining such terms as “freedom”, “immigrant” and “socialism”, and calling for additional entries from readers. Here was our contribution:
A belief in and dedication to the sanctity of life, except in the cases of women who might die from childbirth, prisoners on death row (even those with new evidence that may exonerate them), animals who are hunted for sport or tortured on factory farms, poor people who can’t afford healthcare, and doctors who legally perform abortions (see “George Tiller”).
The ability to believe that God creates all life at conception while simultaneously ignoring the fact that (when you consider the number of miscarriages women go through) God is the biggest abortionist of them all.
Article: Political rock-paper-scissors
Our design crush Christoph Niemann’s latest illustration for his Abstract Sunday art column in the New York Times Sunday Magazine takes the hand gesture game of “rock, paper, scissors” and updates it for the modern political era. If kids can use this classic game to settle disputes such as who gets the last piece of pie (I will fight you to the death if it’s strawberry rhubarb) or as a tie breaker in the game of shotgun aka who-gets-the-front-seat, then perhaps it can work for the gridlocked politicians in Washington by following some of these new additional gestures invented by Niemann. I feel like President Obama has been using a lot of “pretty please with a cherry on top.” Not permitted: the middle finger.
Rick “Hair Helmet” Perry – he’s everywhere lately! (But we’re with Jon Stewart: why he gets so much attention while consistent third-placer Ron Paul gets nil is beyond us.) So we’re overdosing a bit on the big P – and the more we hear, the more frightened we get. Check out this YouTube clip where he struggles to answer a legitimate question: why does Texas continue to teach abstinence-only programs when they don’t work, since Texas has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the nation? (The Young Turks give the clip some context.) You’ll get serious flashbacks to George W: the little laugh, the head shake, the grasping at straws. And no, that’s not your video buffering — he actually freezes several times as his brain tries to defy rationality and logic. If that’s not enough of Perry’s ass-backwards views on sexuality for you, check out the section on homosexuality from his 2008 book “On My Honor,” his defense of the Boys Scouts’ “American values” (read: prejudice).
We reported last week that a leading U.S. medical advisory panel recommended that all insurers be required to cover contraceptives for women free of charge. Well, guess what? The Obama administration went for it! And we don’t mean the kind of “free” where you have to pay an annoying co-pay or other deductible. We mean 100% on the house. Let the celebratory protected boot-knocking begin!
Article: Sexist Bill Maher on sexism
We’re two of those poor HBO-less saps who have to wait until the following Wednesday to get the free podcast of the previous Friday night’s episode of “Real Time with Bill Maher.” And so we only just discovered his final “New Rule” from last week: “Republicans have to stop thinking up intricate, psychological explanations for…