Court Closures Pose Safety Risk for Domestic Violence Victims

 

C.Hayes photo 2012While the rest of the country celebrates the arrival of spring with baseball season openers, picnics and cherry blossom festivals, for Sacramento political types the warmer days and budding foliage herald a different annual rite: budget season in California. All this month and into May, legislative budget subcommittees are meeting to determine what the state can afford to fund, and which services will need to be scaled back or eliminated. [Read more...]

It’s Baaaack . . . Would the Equal Rights Amendment Change Anything for Women?

 

C.Hayes photo 2012In grade school, I proudly wore a colorful array of political T-shirts, ranging from presidential candidates to the plight of agricultural workers, in a complex rotation based on a combination of campaign cycles and Ms. Magazine cover stories. [Read more...]

Scalia Will Be a Jerk About Gay Marriage Because He’s a Jerk About Everything

Scalia2Today all eyes were on the Supreme Court as it heard the first day of oral arguments on California’s Proposition 8, which made same-sex marriage illegal in the state back in 2008. Even more than electing Arnold to a second term, Prop 8 is a blemish on California’s progressive political history, and seeing it overturned is high on my SCOTUS wish list this year. [Read more...]

Wet Dog Democrats

Americans now gauge crisis levels by the number of memes generated.

“Today we are all Democrats.” As far as I know, nobody said this as they surveyed Hurricane Sandy’s destruction, but somebody really should have. Nothing like a catastrophic weather event to remind people that, oh yeah, maybe a strong central government isn’t the bane of humanity after all! Watching Republicans like Chris Christie fawning over Obama when his Jersey ass is in the fire and “government intervention” is suddenly more than a catchphrase used to rile up excitable right-wingers, is seriously galling.

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Beat Cops

Do you remember that recent case out of NYC in which a patrol officer was accused of raping an intoxicated woman while his partner stood guard outside her apartment? And then they were both acquitted despite a mountain of convincing evidence, and people were horrified and everything was gross, the end? Well, as it turns out that wasn’t the end, because another woman has emerged to say that she was mistreated by the same pair of cops several months earlier—not raped, but physically abused and personally degraded in a circumstance in which the two were charged to assist her. There are records of the complaints she filed at the time, so taken together with the alleged rape it’s all a little fishy, no? One might deduce—if one were an extremely jaded feminist blogger, for example—that Officer Kenneth Moreno has a problem with the ladies. [Read more...]

Supreme Court to Walmart Plaintiffs: Shut Up, You Dumb Girls

Good news for all you misogynist bosses out there: the Supreme Court totally has your back, bro. Apparently all you have to do is write a policy saying you’re not allowed to discriminate against women, and then you can safely discriminate against women on a massive fucking scale and you will be totally fine. Because: the written policy!  It’s genius, really. Not since the Citizens United decision have I been so forcefully reminded that the conservative majority of our nation’s highest court is a pack of absolute, unrepentant hypocrites. I actually like to be reminded of that; I find it bracing, like a cold shower or a sudden blow to the head. Gets the adrenalin flowing! God, they’re terrible. But I digress.

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Chris Brown and the Uses of Compassion

Welcome back, Chris Brown! Honestly, I thought we’d finished with you when you completed your entirely inadequate community service sentence for 1. beating Rihanna to a pulp and 2. repeatedly demonstrating that you had no real understanding of, let alone remorse for, what you’d done. Though the story’s ending was unsatisfying, I was just glad when it was over. But then you went on GMA and got asked a couple of totally softball questions about your lady-smacking ways, and you threw a tantrum, and broke a mirror, and also ripped your shirt off because sometimes, when The Man is keeping you down, the only thing left to do is show him your pecs. So much for the anger management classes, and hey, good to know you don’t limit your violent outbursts to women you’re dating. Female morning show anchors: check yourselves.
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Rough Justice

OK, so most of us at least dimly suspect that half of what goes down in the US justice system is some pretty dodgy shit: people getting locked up forever for having a joint, cops getting away with murder, what have you, it’s a mess. But in a courtroom, you hope you can at least assume that crime victims and the prosecution are more or less on the same side, in that they all want the guilty party to be found guilty and punished accordingly. But anyone who has more than passing familiarity with court proceedings knows that prosecutors are often arrogant, conviction-getting machines who won’t let anything stand between them and a win, even if it means compromising the rights of the victims whose interests they claim to represent. [Read more...]

Berlusconi Child Prostitution Trial: Revenge of the Lady Judges

[VIDEO] Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has given us so much over the years, that it’s hard to know how best to express our gratitude. What’s the appropriate thank you gift for a European premier who elevated showgirls to Parliamentary seats, and once told an African priest that he had a “nice tan”? A muffin basket? Some kind of desk globe?

Berlusconi is an all-purpose wanker, who’s dodged charges on everything from tax evasion to bribery. But where he truly excels is in the denigration of women. When it comes to lady-hating, he is a rock star. There was that time he hit on a female politician, at an official function and in front of his then-wife, [Read more...]