Michael Flynn, abortion and other links.

•You may have heard that Michael Flynn has stepped down as Trump’s National Security Adviser due to his covert discussions with Russian representatives about Obama’s sanctions on Russia. It’s unclear, from what I’ve read, whether he made any promises to Russia about lifting them or negotiating them, which would be illegal. But in any case, right-bloggers know who’s really to blame: Obama! And both Paul Ryan and Rand Paul are on the case — which is to say, they’ve decided there is no case.  Digby looks at whether Flynn lied to the FBI (which is illegal). Given the Republicans softened their election platform last year on defending the Ukraine, did Flynn propose any deal with the Russians? Dan Rather compares this to the early stages of Watergate.

Even if Trump did cut some deal with the Russians (e.g., hack the Clinton campaign, I’ll be nice to you when I’m president), will Congress care? Nixon withered under heavy Congressional scrutiny, but Congressional Republicans are okay with having a white supremacist president as long as he delivers on their policy wishes. A lot of people, including me, assumed they’d be happy to have Pence (solid Republican, anti-abortion, not crazy) but maybe they’re afraid all the Trump voters will stay home in 2018 if they reject him?

•An Oklahoma bill would require pregnant women get the father’s written permission before an abortion. Rep. Justin Humphrey explained it’s because women who get pregnant when they don’t want the baby are irresponsible sluts, and aquariums: “I understand that they feel like that is their body. I feel like it is a separate — what I call them is, is you’re a ‘host.’ And you know when you enter into a relationship you’re going to be that host and so, you know, if you pre-know that then take all precautions and don’t get pregnant,”

•A Tennessee bill would classify children of artificial insemination as illegitimate.

•A Florida bill would let women who get abortions sue the provider for negligence up to 10 years after the operation (the normal statute of limitations for medical negligence is two years). Even if the woman signs a consent form, that doesn’t immunize the provider.

•The standard bullshit criticism of women in power is that they’re too emotional, lose control when their hormones surge, and can’t keep themselves under control. Which makes Trump a parody of a woman in authority.

•There are startlingly few laws preventing child marriage in this country.

•Thomas Frank looks at how Steve Bannon blames the 2008 economic crunch on the hippies. This argument — the left rejected traditional morals, therefore all immoral behavior ever since is the fault of the left — is not new, but usually it’s just used for “hippy punching.” This time Bannon’s point is that deregulation and bad business decisions didn’t really cause the financial meltdown because, hippies, so deregulation good!

•One conservative argues that just because Trump talked about banning Muslim refugees, we shouldn’t assume that his Muslim ban is actually based on religion. LGM politely disagrees.

•This Ruthless World on not having sympathy for Trump voters.

•So apparently some anti-semites have decided John Carpenter’s They Live is about the secret Jewish conspiracy to take us over rather than, say, the corrupting influence of money (which it is about). But as I pointed out in Screen Enemies of the American Way, the bogeymen of one conspiracy theory (real or fictional) do tend to blur into each other. So I’m not surprised.

•About that Republican commitment to state’s rights — apparently if a state wants to create a retirement system for poorer workers, that’s a bad thing.

•Digby predicts that while other parts of the administration may flounder in inefficiency, the Sessions Justice Department will probably be very efficient at vote suppression, drug crack-downs, and resisting any efforts to reform or challenge bad prosecutors and out-of-control cops.

•An example of misogynoir?

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Filed under Politics, Undead sexist cliches

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