Fetch the smelling salts.
Back in the year of our lord 2009, a young lady named Carrie Prejean wanted to be Miss USA. During the pageant, the then-Miss California USA was asked by Perez Hilton whether or not same-sex marriage should be legal in all 50 states. She answered:
Well, I think it's great that Americans are able to choose one way or the other. We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. And, you know what, in my country, in my family, I think that, I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, no offense to anybody out there. But that's how I was raised and I believe that it should be between a man and a woman.
As you may recall, of course, most Americans in 2009 were not, in fact, living "in a land where [they could] choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage." They didn't have that choice, on account of it being illegal in most states.
Prejean did not win Miss USA and, according to her and the conservative pundits at the time, this was because her "traditional beliefs" were held against her. Instead, she was the first-runner-up, a title she lost after partially nude photographs of her surfaced, along with the revelation of the existence of a sex tape. Ms. Prejean has maintained that she actually also lost that title on account of backlash against her traditional values.
One of the conservative pundits defending Prejean was Courtney Friel, a personal friend of the beauty queen as well as an occasional fill-in-host on Fox & Friends.
SO MUCH SEX!
Yr Wonkette, like Mike Huckabee, BRINGS THE SEX. Only unlike Huckabee, we bring the actual sex, or at least the sex that isn't all sad and depressing like all the harassment and the abortion restrictions, because it's the end of the year and we don't want to bum you out. So let's remember some of our favorite sexytimes stories of the year, shall we? We shall!
Great news for forced birthers with no idea how insurance works!
Starting in June, thanks to a new and incredibly stupid rule from the Trump administration, those who get their health care plans through the ACA will be getting two bills each month. One bill for their regular insurance, and another, separate bill just for "abortion coverage." This "abortion coverage" bill will amount to no less than $1 per enrollee and is mostly symbolic as insurance companies do not set aside a specific amount of money to be used on certain procedures.
Here is the rule itself, explained in an inordinately confusing way, from the Health and Human Services website:
CMS is finalizing that, beginning with an issuer's first billing cycle that starts on or after the date that is 6 months after publication of the final rule, QHP [Qualified Health Plan] issuers be required to: (1) send an entirely separate monthly bill to the policy holder for only the portion of premium attributable to coverage of certain abortion services, and (2) instruct the policy holder to pay the portion of their premium attributable to coverage of certain abortion services in a separate transaction from any payment the policy holder makes for the portion of their premium not attributable to such abortion coverage. QHP issuers sending paper bills will be permitted to send the separate paper bill in the same mailing as the separate bill for the rest of the enrollee's premium. QHP issuers sending bills electronically will be required to send the separate bill in a separate email or electronic communication. We are also finalizing that QHP issuers must instruct the policy holder to pay the separate bill in a separate transaction. However, if the policy holder fails to pay the separate bill in a separate transaction as instructed by the issuer, the issuer may not terminate the policy holder's coverage on this basis, provided the amount due is otherwise paid.
This whole thing -- they claim -- is meant to make the ACA compliant with the Hyde Amendment, a garbage law preventing federal funds from going towards abortion. Since some people get subsidies, no one can truly know whether the money covering their abortions comes from the money that they have personally paid towards their coverage or from the subsidies. This way, people who don't understand how insurance works can pretend that all of the money covering abortion comes directly from that $1 bill policy holders will get to pay -- separately -- every month.
In reality, it is meant to piss people off that they're having to pay for abortions if they don't need or believe in them -- and they have to do so inconveniently.
It's like the Elf on a Shelf story, but different!
It's the Friday before Christmas, so why not how 'bout we get into the yuletide spirit with a tale as old as time, of romance and King's Hawaiian Roast Beef Sliders and the Arby's gift cards that bring allllllll the boys to the yard?
If you've been on "the internet" this week, you might be familiar with the general bones (LOL "bones") of this story.
There is a man, and he is named Barry Poyner, and he is a self-described "DILF." (If you don't know what that stands for, get offline and knit culottes for your cats, GRANDPA.)
Barry is also a church elder at the Kirksville Church of Christ in Kirksville, Missouri, which, as you might have guessed, is part of the Church of Christ. (Motto: Fags Are The Devil, And So Are Pianos!)
You know where this going. That's right, it's going through the drive-thru at the Arby's on the north side of Kirksville near the Home Depot, because hey, Barry the church DILF just met you (on Grindr), and this is crazy, but here is AN ARBY'S GIFT CARD, so please, male college student, order whatever you want, within reason!
In exchange for sex, obviously.
Barry has been charged with prostitution.
SUN'S OUT GUNS OUT!
There is a good idea listed in the newspaper! And it is that some freshman House Democrats think that when the House sends the Senate its articles of impeachment against Donald J. Trump, one of the so-called "impeachment managers," i.e. the people from the House who go over to the Senate to present the case, should be formerly Republican Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, and also his hot arms.
The paper doesn't say "hot arms" are part of the Democrats' calculus, but it doesn't say they're not either.
As the Washington Post reports, it's about 30 House Democrats, some of them the moderate kind, some the liberal kind, who think this would be a great idea, and they're led by Rep. Dean Phillips. Amash may not be ideologically aligned with any of 'em, but when House Republicans yell about how this impeachment is just a partisan clownshow, they do seem to be forgetting about Amash, who until a few months ago was one of them.
That's pretty much all a transvaginal ultrasound is.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States of America ruled to let Kentucky's transvaginal ultrasound law stand. This means that anyone who wants an abortion in one of Kentucky's three remaining abortion clinics has to let a doctor shove a wand up their vaginas in order to show them an ultrasound of their fetus, in hopes that this will convince them not to have an abortion. This should be especially thrilling for recently traumatized rape victims.
Without any sort of dissent at all, the Court upheld the decision of the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals, that the law did not violate the First Amendment rights of doctors, thereby allowing the law to go into effect:
"As a First Amendment matter, there is nothing suspect with a State's requiring a doctor, before performing an abortion, to make truthful, non-misleading factual disclosures, relevant to informed consent, even if those disclosures relate to unborn life and have the effect of persuading the patient not to have an abortion," the appeals court held in its ruling.
Ok, but what about the rights of patients to say what sort of medical procedures they want performed on them? Shouldn't that be a consideration? I guess not!
You go, girl!
Hey, Devin Nunes! You want to know what a real defamation suit looks like? Check out this slander claim by Karen McDougal against Fox News after Russia-loving trust-fund baby Tucker Carlson falsely accused her of extortion on live television. It's amazing what a real lawyer can do with an actual, cognizable, non-frivolous claim! She doesn't even have to dream up a bullshit explanation to park the case in some random court in rural Virginia -- she just files it where the actual injury took place. There's not a cow in sight! AMAZING, right?
McDougal was one of the women who sold the story of her affair with Donald Trump to the National Enquirer in the run-up to the election, only to find that Enquirer owner David Pecker and his pet snake editor Dylan Howard had a side deal to sell the rights to Trump so he could make sure it never saw the light of day. And while we may question the judgment of a person who voluntarily chose to bump uglies with Trump, in no universe is this woman an extortionist.
Gordon Sondland a pervert? Wow, it's always the ones you most suspect!
Gordon Sondland should have saved his money and stayed in Oregon. If that idiot had just kept it zipped up and not blown his million dollar wad all over Trump's inauguration (routed through shell companies, natch), then he wouldn't be at the center of this impeachment maelstrom. And we wouldn't be forced to talk about the time he hired a woman to be "my new hotel chick," then ambushed her without his pants inviting her to "have some fun" with Little Gordo. Allegedly.
VOMIT. NOT ALLEGEDLY.
Three women went on the record with ProPublica and Portland Monthly to describe EU Ambassador Sondland's sexual advances and subsequent career retaliation when those advances were rejected. Because for Gordon Sondland, there is always, always, always a quid pro quo.
Hello from beautiful Warwick, Rhode Island (say nothing, anyone who has ever actually been to Warwick, Rhode Island)! I am here, in town, hanging with my family this year, and I consider myself super lucky to be doing so. Because sure, I love them a whole lot, but also because it means that in addition to Thanksgiving dinner I can also eat a shit ton of clam cakes and hot wieners and maybe a coffee cabinet and other things that probably sound completely insane to anyone not from here, but which I assure you are very delicious.
Of course, I am not a man going his own way — the misogynists who, according to themselves, are the luckiest fellas in all the land because instead of dating or marrying or even just hanging out with women like normal, they get to be free to complain about us on the internet all day, every day, including on Thanksgiving. Thrilling!
There are not actually one million moms who are mad at this.
I have to admit. I love the One Million Moms. Mostly because they are not One Million Moms at all, or even any kind of organization, but rather simply a website run by the American Family Association, an SPLC-designated anti-LGBT hate group. There is something I find extremely entertaining about people who can't just state their own beliefs, but have to pretend they are supported by ONE MILLION imaginary people standing behind them. I wish I had the balls to do that, although I'd probably end up doing it for things like a third season for Lodge 49 and getting a Del's Lemonade in Chicago.
Anyway, the fun thing about the Bryan Fischer Standing On Tom Wildmon's Shoulders, Wearing A Trenchcoat And Pretending To Be One Million Moms is that they are always super mad about the most hilarious things, and this latest one is no exception. They are currently mad at a Hotels.com ad that has the word "condom" in it. OH THE HUMANITY OF IT ALL!!
Let us note that Duncan Hunter is still in office and plans to run again.
On Sunday night, a few days after her ex-husband released several nude photos of her, without her consent, to the Daily Mail and conservative site RedState, California Rep. Katie Hill resigned.
In the letter, Hill explained that while it hurt her to resign, and while what her ex-husband did was illegal, she felt it was in the best interest of her constituents.
This is what needs to happen so that the good people who supported me will no longer be subjected to the pain inflicted by my abusive husband and the brutality of hateful political operatives who seem to happily provide a platform to a monster who is driving a smear campaign built on cyber exploitation.
Hill also stated that she will turn her efforts to fighting against revenge porn, so that coming generations of women do not have to fear running for public office or even "entering public light" just because some terrible ex has nude photos of them. Given the fact that sexting has become "the norm" for a whole lot of people, it's unlikely that this will be the last time this happens.
It's your lawsplainer!
Katie Hill is one of the young freshman congresswomen elected in the 2018 wave. She is vice-chair of the powerful House Oversight Committee. In 2018, Hill flipped a Republican seat in the typically conservative 25th congressional district near LA, roundly defeating incumbent Stephen Knight. She is also an out bisexual woman who is in the midst of a messy divorce from husband Kenny Heslep, whom Hill says was emotionally abusive.
Yesterday, the right-wing blog RedState published nude photos of Hill (here's a link to Wonkette, instead of RedState! and no you don't get the nakey pix) along with a story alleging she was in an inappropriate relationship with her legislative director and had previously been involved with a woman who worked on her campaign who we will not name because she is a private person living a private life. Shortly thereafter, the British tabloid Daily Mail followed suit, publishing two nude photos and several other intimate photos of Hill and the woman who worked on her campaign. (In this instance, RedState was slightly better than the Daily Mail, publishing just one nude photo, blurring the other woman's face and not identifying her by name.)
After the photos were published, Marc Elias and Rachel Jacobs from Perkins Coie sent a cease and desist letter to the Daily Mail on Hill's behalf, demanding the photos be taken down. The letter alleges that the Daily Mail violated several California laws, including its revenge porn statute.
The state's six-week abortion ban has no exceptions for rape and incest.
Rape, as we should all understand by now, is a crime of power. This week, South Carolina decided to give rapists a 2-for-1 deal on that power by stripping the rape and incest exceptions from an already-terrible bill banning abortions after six weeks. The move was decided by a Senate Committee that voted in favor of removing the exceptions 4-3, down party lines. But don't think they're entirely heartless — the bill will still allow abortions if they are to "save the life of the mother," meaning they won't actually condemn rape victims to die while having their rapist's baby. That's just about as generous and kind as the forced birth contingent gets these days.
Of course, the measure does still have to go through committee, but it will most likely glide right on through there as well, and Republican Governor Henry McMaster is reportedly eager to sign it.
Court Rules That Anti-Choice 'Sidewalk Counselors' Can Annoy Anyone Trying To Get An Abortion In Pittsburgh
But on the bright side, they also upheld a buffer zone law keeping protestors 15 feet away.
If there is a more enraging term in the English language than "sidewalk counseling," I cannot think of it. Just reading it makes my blood boil, and not just because the practice itself entails rudely walking up to people trying to get an abortion and annoying them with anti-choice bullshit, though that is appalling. It's also the unbelievably smug and delusional-sounding term in and of itself. It takes a whole lot of gall to call what they do "counseling." Last time I checked, counseling an adult person who does not wish for you to counsel them usually involves a court order of some kind, and it does not occur on a sidewalk. Surely, if anyone walking into an abortion clinic wanted to be "counseled" by some anti-choice freak of nature, they would go and do that instead of walking into an abortion clinic.
Thus, I thought it was pretty darned awesome when the city of Pittsburgh enacted a law requiring forced birth enthusiasts to stay 15 feet away from abortion clinics during their protests.
And on Friday, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that law, which was great, but with an exception, which was very, very bad. While protestors must stay 15 feet away from abortion clinics, the court found that this cannot apply to so-called "sidewalk counselors," and that not allowing them to annoy people trying to get a common medical procedure would violate their First Amendment rights.
Way back in December of 2017, then Ohio Governor John Kasich — the "reasonable" and polite Republican who gets the Chris Matthews types all weak in the knees — signed an incredibly stupid anti-choice bill making it a felony for doctors to perform an abortion if all or part of the reason for said abortion is that the fetus has been diagnosed with Down Syndrome. Called the "Antidiscrimination Law," the law essentially claimed that aborting a fetus with Down Syndrome meant discriminating against people with Down's Syndrome, including those who are not even fetuses anymore.
No, really. This is what Ohio deputy solicitor general Benjamin Flowers said in his defense of the law earlier this year:
"If women are selecting children with Down syndrome for abortion, if doctors are negatively counseling their patients to abort children when they have a Down syndrome diagnosis, the message that sends not only to children or people carrying a child but to people who are 30 years old is that if you have Down syndrome your life is not worth as much," Flowers said. "And that is the interest Ohio wants to protect."
The law never went into effect, because in March of 2018, U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Black issued a preliminary injunction on that law on the grounds that it violated a patient's right to privacy, which is pretty much the entire basis for Roe v. Wade. If it had, it would have meant up to 18 months in jail and a fine of $15,000 for any doctor who knowingly aborted a fetus with Down Syndrome.
The omissionary position isn't helping.
Congratulations, America! With a giant festering pustule occupying the White House and getting an infectious ooze on everything he touches, America in 2018 achieved a record high number of infections from three sexually transmitted diseases, according to a new report from the US Centers For Disease Control. The CDC reports more than 2.1 million combined cases of gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia! Way to go! Now that the Trump administration's gag rule on family planning funding for groups that so much as mention abortion has led Planned Parenthood to drop out of the Title X program, we can certainly look forward to a quick end to STD outbreaks, as crisis pregnancy centers take up the slack and tell people not to fuck, ever.
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