Rick Perry, Asshole of the Day for August 29, 2014
Last month we named Rick Perry Asshole of the Day for sending the National Guard to the border even though it turned out they couldn’t do anything and might not even have their guns loaded. It was all just for show— for Fox News and 2016 GOP primary voters.
But that’s not the whole story. We noted at the time that Gov. Perry had said he wouldn’t pay for it, and expected the federal government to pick up the tab. Now this is rich because the Texas National Guard isn’t actually helping the Border Patrol, so the federal government gets no benefit from the deployment Perry ordered, nor did they ask for his help.
But Perry sent them anyways. And now it turns out the Guardsmen haven’t been paid, and have had to go to the food pantry so they can eat:
A food bank revealed to local TV station KGBT that they’d been inundated with food requests from Guardsmen, who were deployed on August 11 and won’t be paid until September 5. “We were contacted that 50 troops that are in the Valley don’t have any money for food and gas and they need our assistance,” the bank’s director told KGTV.
According to The Wire, it costs about $12 million per month to keep the 1,000 troops at the border “sustained,” and Perry’s refused to use Texas money to pay them, instead calling on the federal government to do so.
So Perry insists the federal government pay for this deployment they didn’t ask for, but he didn’t actually secure that funding prior to deploying them. And who suffers for his lack of planning and pointless deployment? The men and women in the guard who he ordered there. And that is why Rick Perry is the Asshole of the Day.
It is Gov. Perry’s seventh time as Asshole of the Day. Previous wins were for
- saying his wife never meant to defend women’s right to control their own bodies
- claiming his abortion bill is about protecting women’s health, even though it has no provision to save the life of the mother
- saying all women should be forced to have babies as teenagers because Wendy Davis did
- suggesting that expanding Medicaid will invent people to be sick
- refusing to shake Obama’s hand and saying Obama was “in on” the border crisis somehow
- sent the National Guard to the border, even though they can’t do anything
Full story: Mediaite.
en Barres is a biologist at Stanford who lived and worked as Barbara Barres until he was in his forties. For most of his career, he experienced bias, but didn’t give much weight to it—seeing incidents as discrete events. (When he solved a tough math problem, for example, a professor said, “You must have had your boyfriend solve it.”) When he became Ben, however, he immediately noticed a difference in his everyday experience: “People who don’t know I am transgendered treat me with much more respect,” he says. He was more carefully listened to and his authority less frequently questioned. He stopped being interrupted in meetings. At one conference, another scientist said, “Ben gave a great seminar today—but then his work is so much better than his sister’s.” (The scientist didn’t know Ben and Barbara were the same person.) “This is why women are not breaking into academic jobs at any appreciable rate,” he wrote in response to Larry Summers’s famous gaffe implying women were less innately capable at the hard sciences. “Not childcare. Not family responsibilities,” he says. “I have had the thought a million times: I am taken more seriously.”
This experience, it turns out, is typical for transmen. For her book Just One of the Guys? Transgender Men and the Persistence of Gender Inequality, sociologist Kristen Schilt interviewed dozens of FTM (female to male) transgender individuals. One subject noted that when he expresses an opinion, everyone in a meeting now writes it down. Another noted, ”When I was a woman, no matter how many facts I had, people were like, “Are you sure about that?’ It’s so strange not to have to defend your positions.” When they suggested women for promotions, other men said, “Oh! I hadn’t thought about her”—they were able to promote women because their advice was taken more seriously. Personality traits that had been viewed negatively when they were women were now seen as positives. “I used to be considered aggressive,” said one subject. “Now I’m considered ‘take charge.’ People say, ‘I love your take-charge attitude.’”
The effects of FTM transition, however, aren’t universally positive. Race, it seems, has the ability to overshadow gender when it comes to others’ esteem. Black transmen, for instance, found they were perceived as a “dangerous” post transition. One subject said he went from being “obnoxious black woman” to “scary black man”—and was now always asked to play the “suspect” in training exercises.
In 1971, Congress declared August 26th — the day in 1920 on which the 19th amendment, which gave American women the right to vote, was certified as law — Women’s Equality Day. Every year since, we’ve had a designated 24 hours to reflect on how far we’ve come since women couldn’t even cast a vote for President in this country, and how far the country still has to go, when it comes to gender equality.
8 Things Women Couldn’t Do In 1971…
1. Get credit cards in their own names.
The Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974 gave women that right. The law forced credit card companies to issue cards to women without a husband’s signature.
2. Legally get an abortion.
The seminal Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade, which protected a woman’s right to choose, didn’t happen until 1973.
3. Access the morning after pill.
The FDA first approved emergency contraception in 1998, and the morning after pill became available over the counter just last year, in 2013.
4. Be guaranteed they wouldn’t be fired for getting pregnant.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 added an amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, specificyng that employers could not discriminate “on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.”
5. Marry another woman.
Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2004. Love is love is love.
6. Fight on the front lines.
Women were first admitted into military academies in 1976. And in 2013, the military ban on women in combat (tied to a Pentagon rule from 1994) was lifted by Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta.
7. Take legal action against workplace sexual harassment.
According to The Week, the first time a court recognized office sexual harassment as grounds for legal action was in 1977.
8. Decide not to have sex if their husbands wanted to.
Spousal rape wasn’t criminalized in all 50 states until 1993.
In 2014, Beyonce is performing at the VMAs with the word “feminist” emblazoned behind her, but “equality” is still something that feels out of reach for many women.
6 Things Women Still Can’t Do In 2014…
2. Name a female president.
We’re still waiting for the first…
3. Marry another woman in any of the 50 states one chooses to live in.
Since 1971 the tide of public opinion on marriage equality has turned — same-sex marriage is now legal in 19 states and Washington, D.C. — but there are still 31 that ban gay marriage, 28 through constitutional amendments.
4. Necessarily access an abortion.
Despite the fact that it is legal for women to terminate their pregnancies in the U.S., states have been enacting more and more restrictions around the procedure and making it harder for clinics to perform it. In July, the Washington Post reported that more than half of Texas’ abortion clinics have shut down since newly-restrictive legislation passed last year. And according to NARAL, abortion restrictions disproportionately impact young women and poor women.
5. Be guaranteed paid maternity leave.6. Be sure their health insurance will cover contraception.
Pour another one out for American exceptionalism. The United States is the only developed country that does not guarantee new mothers paid leave. (A devastatingly small percentage of U.S. companies — 16 percent — offer fully paid maternity leave.)
Despite an Obamacare mandate, demanding that employers that are not religious institutions or houses of worship fully cover birth control, some insurers are refusing to do so. (And of course, the Hobby Lobby case gave some for-profit employers exemption from covering contraception.)
Let us be vividly clear about this.
What the New York Times did to Michael Brown today was not merely slander. It wasn’t a case of a lack of journalistic integrity.
Highlighting that a black teenager was “no angel” on the day he is being laid to rest after being hunted and killed by racist vigilante forces is not an unfortunate coincidence.
The New York Times deliberately played into an archaic American tradition in devaluing both the merit of black life and the tragedy of black death.
They chose the day of his funeral, as his family, friends and activists everywhere have to grapple with a human being lost to pontificate about how he was “no angel”. Michael Brown was many things to many people; a son, a brother, a cousin, a nephew and another black causality of murderous police institutions and today, amidst all the racist violence he, his loved ones and community have had to endure, he was going to finally receive the respect and moment of honor he deserved and NYT decided today, of all days, to tune in their audience onto wholly irrelevant facts about his life - that in turn, transform the very injustice surrounding his death and the following police violence that plagued Ferguson into a national panel about whether or not his death is actually worth mourning and their language suggested that to them, it indeed is not.
This was hardly an accident or mistake. This is the perpetual hostility that is met against black life in America. The consensus is that black people deserve no respect and for black life to be legitimized and honored, we must meet a list of prerequisites. Subsequently, if black people aren’t valued, neither are our deaths understood as tragic or murders seen as criminal action.
This has been the atmosphere of America since its inception and much has not improved.
Here is a side by side comparison of how The New York Times has profiled Michael Brown — an 18 year old black boy gunned down by police — and how they profiled Ted Bundy, one of the most prolific serial killers of all time.
Disgusting: Now NRA News is praising the white vigilante patrols that shot black New Orleans flood victims following Hurricane Katrina.
Facing an influx of refugees, the residents of Algiers Point could have pulled together food, water and medical supplies for the flood victims. Instead, a group of white residents, convinced that crime would arrive with the human exodus, sought to seal off the area, blocking the roads in and out of the neighborhood by dragging lumber and downed trees into the streets. They stockpiled handguns, assault rifles, shotguns and at least one Uzi and began patrolling the streets in pickup trucks and SUVs. The newly formed militia, a loose band of about fifteen to thirty residents, most of them men, all of them white, was looking for thieves, outlaws or, as one member put it, anyone who simply “didn’t belong.”
According to The Nation, during this time ”at least eleven people were shot. In each case the targets were African-American men, while the shooters, it appears, were all white.”
It was September 1, 2005, some three days after Hurricane Katrina crashed into New Orleans, and somebody had just blasted Herrington, who is African-American, with a shotgun. “I just hit the ground. I didn’t even know what happened,” recalls Herrington, a burly 32-year-old with a soft drawl … Herrington says he hadn’t even seen the men or their weapons before the shooting began. As Alexander and Collins fled, Herrington ran in the opposite direction, his hand pressed to the bleeding wound on his throat. Behind him, he says, the gunmen yelled, “Get him! Get that nigger!”
The attack occurred in Algiers Point. The Point, as locals call it, is a neighborhood within a neighborhood, a small cluster of ornate, immaculately maintained 150-year-old houses within the larger Algiers district. A nationally recognized historic area, Algiers Point is largely white, while the rest of Algiers is predominantly black. It’s a “white enclave” whose residents have “a kind of siege mentality,” says Tulane University historian Lance Hill, noting that some white New Orleanians “think of themselves as an oppressed minority.”