Pop Goes The Political Culture Week of July 16
by Rebekah Kuschmider, MPU co-host
(I assume we’re all going to be Russian citizens soon so I’m practicing a new greeting. You like it? Yeah, me neither.)
This week was a little like living in a Bond movie with lots of spying and sex. NRA members were apparently having sex with the Maria Butina, who is totally the villain and probably won’t turn out to have a heart of gold and flip to save us all. And Trump was definitely having sex with Karen MacDougal and he and Michael Cohen discussed buying her story to make sure no one ever knew about the sex. Trump is also a villain, FYI. And something very weird and probably sexual is going on with Roger Stone and one-time New York madam Kristin Davis of “I procured sex for Elliott Spitzer” fame, which is why Bob Mueller has subpoenaed her.
Truthfully, I’d be much happier if all these people spent more time having sex and less time making policy. Remember how great the 90s were when blow jobs were part of the presidential agenda? Exactly.
I’m sure we’ll discuss all the very sexy details on when we record later tonight, but for now, here’s all the news that’s not fit to ‘cast!
Shark Week: It’s Shark Week! Woohoo! This is the 30th Anniversary of Discovery Channel’s tribute to all things aquatic and carnivorous. Who doesn’t love watching hours of footage taken from marine drones and proving to us that sharks can definitely and totally bite the hell out of any object on their path?
Even the Donald Trump loves Shark Week as we all recall from Stormy Daniels’ bizarre recollection of sitting in a hotel with him as he watched hours of shark specials.
But you know what Trump loves more than sharks – or any wildlife for that matter? Money. He proved that by rolling back Interior Department rules that prohibit consideration of economic impact in making determinations about endangered species. It used to be that experts could look at things like animal population and habitat and say “Jeez! There aren’t very many of these critters left and their habitat is shrinking. We should protect them.” Now, special interest groups can step in and say “But protecting the critters will cost us money” and that will be a contributing factor in determining status.
I’ve always thought that something are more valuable than money – things like eagles and wetlands that have been saved through the endangered species act. It’s too bad the Trump administration disagrees.
— Slate (@Slate) December 9, 2015
The Kids Really Are Alright: Pop quiz! What’s the difference between same sex parents and opposite sex parents?
The largest longitudinal study of families headed by same sex couples has published new findings. The study known as National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS) has been following a cohort of lesbian families since the late 1980s and early 1990s. The children from these families are around 25 now and they’re literally no different than their peers from opposite sex parents home. The study found that there was no significant differences with respect to “adaptive functioning (family, friends, spouse or partner relationships, and educational or job performance), behavioral or emotional problems, scores on mental health diagnostic scales, or the percentage of participants with a score in the borderline or clinical range.”
In other words, kids raised by lesbians grow up, get educated, get jobs, fall in love, and live their lives pretty much like kids raised by straight folks.
I’d be shocked by this but I’m too busy being not at all shocked by this.
The study is imperfect, in that the sample is not random, doesn’t control for socioeconomic differences, and doesn’t include male-only couples. But even so, it should be strong evidence that gay people don’t screw up kids any worse than most straight people do.
This Is What A Feminist Vending Machine Looks Like: In the world of People Who Want To Control Their Bodies, we have a group of students at the University of Florida who want to install a vending machine that will sell emergency contraception.
Known as the “morning after pill” or by brand names like Plan B, this hormonal medication can be taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex. The drug can suppress ovulation, thus preventing pregnancy. If taken after ovulation has already occurred, it is ineffective. Once an egg has been fertilized, this medication cannot stop the progress of a pregnancy – there has been speculation that it COULD prevent implantation but the failure rate is consistent with it only being effective at suppressing ovulation.
Emergency contraception was approved by prescription in 1998 and was made available as an over the counter medication in 2006.
Many campus health centers make it available for purchase but since those health centers are only open select hours, the vending machines would be an insanely practical alternative choice. Other campuses have actually done this, installing Wellness To Go machines that sell emergency contraception, condoms, menstrual supplies and a small selection of OTC meds.
You know. Like bathroom condom vending machines but better!
Anti-choice groups oppose making emergency contraception available that easily saying that women don’t think through the consequences of taking the medication. I actually DID take emergency contraception once and let me tell you, the consequences were EXACTLY what I was thinking about. Spending a couple of days queasy from a big dose of hormones sounded way better to me than getting knocked up as a result of a broken condom. It definitely sounded better than having an abortion or a baby at that moment in my life.
So anti-choicers can take their concern trolling about consequences and take a seat.
Get Out The Celebs: Democrats seems to be focusing on turnout for the 2018 elections. This week saw the launch of two different viral videos pertaining to registering voters and rallying volunteers.
The first featured Michell Obama, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monae, and Chris Paul, all of whom are co-chairs of When We All Vote, a non-partisan organization dedicated to voter registration.
The second effort came from Swing Left, and features Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Rashida Jones encouraging Democrats to volunteer on the last weekend before the midterms.
The videos themselves are not going to win any awards for creativity but they are masterpieces of targeting. The one about getting registered to vote features young, influential people of color – representatives of the very demographic groups progressives are most hoping to bring to the polls this year. The Swing Left video features women – Boomer and GenX women to be specific. Those two groups have shown a tremendous commitment to putting boots on the ground for the progressive movement since 2017.
They always say, when Democrats show up, Democrats win. With less than 16 weeks before the election, it looks like progressive groups are trying to prove that to be true.
There’s lots more to talk about and the gang is ready to talk at length on The More Perfect Union. Listen when it drop this week!