Category Archives: Law

Uncle Sugar

You may find this surprising, but today I agree with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (R-12th Century).

(Photo Credit

Lead me not into temptation
(Photo Credit

According to today’s Washington Post, Huck knows him some women.  And so he can point the way for his entire party, nay, the entire country, to make women ummmmmmm, Man Up.

We women, especially those who live close to the economic edge that GOP policies and politics have placed us at, don’t have any control over our libidos.  And so we need “Uncle Sugar” to massage our needs with free birth control. Covered under Obamacare.  The nerve of women to want to avoid pregnancy, avoid abortion, avoid abject poverty for the remainder of their lives.

Wanting to avoid co-pays.  The scum.

[Text provided cause I know you aren't gonna click on that link and for some reason the video won't embed]:

The Washington Post Reported:

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (R) said Thursday that Republicans need to take a more combative attitude toward winning the votes of women, by emphasizing that women aren’t weaklings in need of help from the government.

“I think it’s time Republicans no longer accept listening to the Democrats talk about a ‘war on women,’” Huckabee said during a speech at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting in Washington. “The fact is the Republicans don’t have a war on women, they have a war for women, to empower them to be something other than victims of their gender.” [...]

Huckabee said Democrats tell women “they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing them for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of government.

Yes, Mike Huckabee is right.

Because when I see him, hear him, I cannot control myself.  I want.  I want.  I want.

I want to shout:


I am so tired of Huckabee and the rest of the male-dominated GOP that is hell bent on keeping as many women in poverty as possible.  Barefoot and pregnant, that’s how they like us.  And so I repeat:



and the Horse You Rode In On

Of course, now I will be accused of bestiality AND being unable to control my libido.

And I gotta figure out just exactly how this jives with yesterday’s enlightening story about Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) who believes that a wife is supposed to “voluntarily submit” to her husband.  Life must be damn confusing for Republican women.  The two who are still Republicans, that is.


Filed under Campaigning, Criminal Activity, Disgustology, Elections, Family, GOP, Health and Medicine, Huh?, Humor, Hypocrisy, Law, Mental Health, Politics, Stupidity, Taking Care of Each Other, Wild Beasts

Sharing the Boss

Some things are just too good to keep to myself:



I found this at, and it made my morning– enjoy!


Filed under Campaigning, Conspicuous consumption, Criminal Activity, Daily Kos, Disgustology, Driving, Elections, GOP, Huh?, Humor, Hypocrisy, Law, Politics, Stupidity, Traffic

Freedom Industries! and why I ♥ Regulations

It’s the mantra that makes me want to grab the TV remote, smack the person who held it, and change the channel ASAP away from FOX News.


Me?  I  Regulations.  I dote on them.  I support them.

I understand them and why they are there.  I even lecture about them (and not just here on Word Press – people actually pay me money to do so).*  Regulations, I always tell folks, are the IKEA instructions that accompany the bookcase.  They are the “how-tos.”

Laws are enacted in response to our understanding that a problem exists, and we need to change what we do as a country to prevent it from happening again.  At the same time, we hopefully have enough vision to see some of the related problems that might occur and try to prevent them from occurring.  A few examples:

Our current Food and Drug laws, the Food and Drug Act of 1936 and the Food and Drug Act Amendments (commonly known as the Kefauver-Harris Amendments).  The FDCA was first enacted after a manufacturer added antifreeze (without testing its effects on people, animals or using their brains very much at all) to a cough remedy to make it more palatable to the kiddies.  The then-current law didn’t actually say that they couldn’t add antifreeze.  Guess what happened!  105 people died.

Another disaster involving a drug that was tested and tried, thalidomide, was found to cause serious birth defects in the babies born to pregnant women.  It wasn’t ever approved in the US thanks to Dr. Frances Kelsey

Dr. Frances Kelsey.   (Photo from Wikipedia article you should have already linked to and read.)

Dr. Frances Kelsey.
(Photo from Wikipedia article you should have already linked to and read.  What are you waiting for?)

Laws designed to safeguard our waters and land came about mostly in the 1970s after two hundred years of treating our country’s land and water like a sewer.  Diseases were springing up in neighborhoods where chemical companies had dumped chemicals.

Love Canal, where Hooker Chemical buried 21,000 tons of toxic waste! (Google Image)

Love Canal, where Hooker Chemical buried 21,000 tons of toxic waste!
(Google Image)

Our rivers were polluted.  If you fell into the Potomac River when I first moved here in 1979, you had to get a typhoid shot.  The Cuyahoga River in Cleveland burned.

Cuyahoga River Burns (June 22, 1969) (Google Image)

Cuyahoga River Burns (June 22, 1969)
(Google Image)

And so our then-FUNCTIONAL Congress (made up of folks who understood why they were elected and who believed in compromise and who believed in the need for government) passed laws to protect us and our land and our water and our air.  Now, our hazardous materials and hazardous waste are to be carefully monitored under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act.  Under the Clean Water Act.  The Clean Air Act.  And a bunch of others designed to keep you and me safe and keep industry behaving itself.

But laws only say:

 We’re Gonna Fix This Problem

Regulations give us step by step instructions on

How to Fix This Problem

Regulations are very specific.  In order to comply, you must do A,B and C, according to specific instructions.  When regulations are promulgated the agency asks the regulated industry to comment on them, how to make them more manageable, workable, less expensive to follow.  But the regulations cover testing, manufacturing techniques, storage, monitoring, record-keeping, transportation, the works.  Regulations have the force of law.  If a company doesn’t follow them, they are liable for penalties and/or imprisonment.


Regulations protect me.  They protect you.  They protect the United States of America from bad manufacturers.  They penalize the bad ones so that they don’t get away with messing up our planet.  They must be strong enough so that manufacturers fear them and therefore follow them.  Slaps on the wrist are ignored when there is money to be made by ignoring regulations. They must be strong.  (Because remember, there are idiots who would add antifreeze to cough syrup for a buck.)

Regulations are the rules that society agrees to adhere to often in spite of the fact that they are a serious pain in the ass.

Regulations, I say to those still awake in my lectures, are like the IKEA instructions.  The furniture is no good without them.  But they need to be followed.

Take this week’s Freedom Industries leak of 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol, or Crude MCHM, a heavy-duty chemical used in processing coal.  Current estimates are that this leak — from a facility brilliantly located upriver from a water purification plant — contaminated the drinking water of more than 100,000 residents of West Virginia.

Thirsty? (Photo from CNN)

(Photo from CNN)

Freedom Industries has said don’t know when the spill started.  They don’t know how much spilled.  They don’t know whether the stuff that has made the entire area smell like licorice is, in fact, terribly toxic to people or if so, how toxic it is to human health.

They are supposed to know or they didn’t comply with the regulations.

They are supposed to measure the amount in the tanks.  Frequently.

They are supposed to record the amount they add or remove from the tanks.  Every single time they do this.

They are supposed to test.  Frequently.

They are supposed to monitor for leaks.  Frequently.

They are supposed to comply with the regulations.  It seems as if they did not.

They are supposed to make sure that they don’t fucking contaminate the fucking water for a hundred thousand people and possibly, probably more.

And if they didn’t they should go to jail.

I’m betting that they didn’t — that they didn’t follow the regulations.  Time will tell.

Freedom Industries  (Washington Post Image)

Freedom Industries
(Washington Post Image)

Just imagine what the rest of our country, our land, our rivers, our air, would be like if there were no regulations.  And you know, don’t you, that the Republican party is oh-so-determined to cut regulations.  To protect industry.  Not you.  Not me.  Industry.  Like Freedom Industries.

Do me a favor.  Think of Freedom Industries whenever you hear someone bitch about the loss of freedom from regulations.

Think of what we’d lose without regulation.

*   *   *

* From 1980-1989, I analyzed environmental regulations and drafted memos to folks on the steps they needed to comply with the regulations that are designed to keep our land, water and air cleaner.

For the past 10 years, I’ve examined a zillion company documents that show how they comply with their IKEA instructions.

*     *     *

Yeah, I know I said I wouldn’t be around much.  But sometimes I just can’t shut up.


Filed under Climate Change, Conspicuous consumption, Criminal Activity, Disgustology, Elections, GOP, Health and Medicine, History, Huh?, Humor, Hypocrisy, Law, Science, Stupidity, Technology, Voting

The Anniversary

I can’t add anything to what the President says here:


The residents of Sandy Hook are reluctant to have a crazy media-fueled circus in their town on the anniversary.  Rather, people there are encouraging each of us to offer small acts of kindness to others.

It is a good idea today.  It is a good idea this season.  It is a good idea all year long.


Filed under Childhood Traumas, Elections, Gun control, Health and Medicine, History, Law, Mental Health, Neighbors, Taking Care of Each Other, Voting

The Truth May Be Out There … But it ain’t pretty

Well, it’s the moment of, ummm, truth.  Truth to tell, I don’t know exactly how many puns I can lie down in this here post before I get to the actual admission of guild.  Or guilt.

First of all, this five truths and a lie is a really fun thing to do.  Thank you Sips of Jen and Tonic!

Because, well, we all know so much about each other.  We have shared opinions, histories, illnesses, family – just about everything.  A quiz is in order.  Have you been reading my posts?  Really?  We will soon find out how well you know me.

Now I must fess up.  Damn it.

I asked you to choose which of these six items is a lie.

  • I once lobbied for the Koch Brothers.
  • When I met him many years ago, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first black Supreme Court Justice, told a story about how he was once mistaken for the elevator operator by tourists in the Supreme Court building, and how he pretended he was the elevator operator.
  • I developed my interest in politics when I took a college course on the Kennedys only because I knew the professor would give me an “A.”
  • I attended an anti-war protest and had a front row seat for Peter, Paul and Mary.
  • My mother contracted polio when she was pregnant with me.
  • I grew up in a house that the whole neighborhood thought was haunted.

People seemed to like my Thurgood Marshall story, but they believed it.  They believed that my house was haunted, too.  So which is it?  Which is the lie?

Have I put off the inevitable confession long enough?

*     *     *

I DID meet Justice Thurgood Marshall in 1978.  I was in a small group of people escorting Justice Marshall to the elevator at the law school where I worked, but I was.  And he did tell this story to a small group of people.

Justice Thurgood MarshallPhoto Credit here

“Not long after I was confirmed,” he said, “I was in a special elevator at the Supreme Court reserved for ‘Justices Only.’  I was thinking to myself, “WOW! — I get to ride a special elevator!” when the door opened and an elderly couple stepped in.’

“’Basement, please,’ they said to me.  They seemed to think I was the elevator operator.”

Justice Marshall looked straight at me, smiled and said:

“So I shuffled.  Said ‘Yes m’am’ and ‘what floor you say you goin’ to?’”  And he shuffled his feet and swung his head to demonstrate.

Everybody in that little group was white.  There were several nervous chuckles, including mine.  Only one person laughed at the story  – Justice Marshall.

*     *     *

I took a great course on  “The World of Work” my first semester in college.  The professor was terrific.  It was a humanities class – designed to introduce business majors (of which I was one, albeit briefly) to real stories of working people and the things like government, society, economics, that impact workers.  The professor and I seemed to be the only ones interested in the class, actually.  But the syllabus was full of wonderful books chosen to instilling a more rounded view of the world in folks who would be focusing mostly on numbers and not people.  The professor liked me and suggested that I take a course he was teaching the next semester  — on the Kennedys.  He thought I was clever, and I participated in his class.  He was enthusiastic about my writing.  But I had no real interest in the Kennedys.  I only took it because I knew that I would get an A.  (I did.  And I got one in the first semester class, too.)  And it did open my eyes to politics, politicians and government.  The next fall I moved to Washington, DC.  And actually, one of the books I read for that class, The Making of the President 1960 by Theodore White, helped me get promoted in my next job.  So my real deep, abiding interest in politics came about because I wanted an A.  True Story.

By Theodore White A BRILLIANT book Barnes & Noble Image

By Theodore White
Barnes & Noble Image

*     *     *

I misled you intentionally with my Peter, Paul and Mary story, although it is completely true.  I DID have a front row seat at the Lincoln Memorial to protest the start of the Iraq War.  Me and a pitifully small crowd of about 300 other folks.  I brought a folding chair and plopped it down, front and center.  PP&M were wonderful, but sadly, they did not stop the Iraq War.  Bombs started falling the next day.  That night in 2003, me, Peter, Paul and Mary and the assorted small crowd looked up as Marine 1 – the President’s helicopter, circled over us.  Oh, for a stinger … Another true story.

*     *     *

My mother DID in fact, contract polio when she was pregnant.  But I lied.  Because it happened not when she was pregnant with me.  She was in her first trimester with my eldest brother Bob (2nd of the 5 of us).  Bob is the family member I rarely speak of — the only staunch conservative in the bunch.  I blame the electric shock and drug therapy Mom received when she was carrying him.  Yup.  That’s the reason he is the way he is.   You can believe me, I AM a fake medical professional after all.

*     *     *

And hardly anybody doubted that I grew up in a house that the whole neighborhood thought was haunted.  OK, so you guys are smart.  I can handle that.  My childhood home was located next to the railroad tracks.  The previous owner had been the guy who threw the switch to change the train from one track to the other.  He died on the tracks.  His sister who lived with him inherited the house.  But she couldn’t maintain it, and it fell into disrepair.  It was a mess when my dad bought it, sight unseen, in 1963.  Everybody in the neighborhood really did think it was haunted.  Part of me will always believe that it WAS haunted.  We moved in on Halloween and my Halloween candy disappeared that very night.

*     *     *

To those of you who believe that I would never, ever, ever, under any circumstances lobby for the Koch Brothers, I love you all.  Each and every one of you.  Because I never would have done it knowingly.  Certainly not if I’d known what they would become.  Or even knowing what they probably were back then (assholes, I’m bettin’).

And I am sooooooo ashamed.

The Catholic girl in me comes out at last.

The Catholic girl in me comes out at last.

Photo Credit

Bless me friends, for I have sinned.  It has been at least 25 years since my last project for David and Charles, but I did work for a law firm as a (very very low level) lobbyist.  And the Koch Brothers were, gulp, one of our clients.

Our energy clients were a bunch of small to medium companies – oil, gas, synthetic, alternative.  At the time I felt pretty proud that we didn’t represent any of the big guys.  Little guys (a category to which Koch Industries then belonged) were OK.  Right?  You there, Right?

Now some of you may have an inflated view of exactly what a lobbyist does.  The top ones – the ones who make the big bucks – pick up the phone and schmooze with big wigs.  They play tennis and golf with them.  Have lunch. Liquid lunches.

Me? I went to hearings and wrote memos.  ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.  I ate Milky Way bars in the hall waiting for hearings to start instead of going out to fancy restaurants for four martinis.

So it is safe to say that I did not plant the seed that became the Koch Brothers.  I didn’t water it.  I might have thrown dirt at them had I known what they would become, but I didn’t even do that.  I wrote memos about what was happening in Congress.  Not what should happen to facilitate the taking over of America by the crazy people.

It was only in the last few years when I read or heard about David and Charles that I went “OH SHIT” .  Because I remembered that they were one of the old firm’s clients.

David and Charles were different back then.  I know that even though I can say that for certain as I never laid eyes on them.  They hadn’t yet become the evil twins.  They were not yet trying to take over the world.  They didn’t even know that they could buy votes in such volumes.  It took Justice Roberts’ court to do that.  (Did I mention that I used to hang out with Justice Roberts years ago ? … And when he was nominated for the Supreme Court nobody asked me a single question about him.  Oh, never mind.)

And you want to know the weirdest thing?  The Koch Brothers were very secretive.  Even back then, when they had much less to hide.  I may be assassinated just for admitting that I once worked for somebody who once worked for them.  You never know with guys with that much money and no conscience.  If I don’t post in the next couple of days, please send help.

In the meantime, please send soap.  “Out, damned spot! Out, I say!”


Filed under Bloggin' Buddies, Books, Campaigning, Childhood Traumas, Criminal Activity, Disgustology, Family, History, Huh?, Humor, Hypocrisy, Law, Mom, Stupidity