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Only in the Washington Post: Ebola crisis was manufactured by conservatives–just like AIDS

The only problem: According to the CDC, nearly half a million people died of AIDS by 2000. Fortunately, effective HIV medication was developed.

But that doesn’t stop this helium-head from dubbing the current crisis “Fearbola”:

Today, some politicians have urged travel bans on flights to and from the affected countries, which “won’t keep Ebola contained and away from American shores,” says Tom Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Um, exactly why won’t a travel ban keep Ebola “away from American shores”?

Oh, and Ebola is all the Republican’s fault anyway.

Posted by Charlotte Allen

Brandy Melville in trouble for “fat-shaming” because it makes clothes for tiny, skinny girls

Sammy Top

There should be a law against making these clothes

Tut-tutting from HuffPo:

While teens fawn over the retailer’s assortment of crop tops, halters, cardigans and more, critics say Brandy Melville has raised the stakes when it comes to fat-shaming. Though the fashion world has long fetishized skinniness, and some labels cater to even slimmer profiles, few have taken size exclusivity this far. Yoga-wear company Lululemon, which admits plus-size customers aren’t part of its strategy, does offer sizes from 0 to 12. Even Abercrombie & Fitch, derided for ignoring overweight kids, sells clothes with extra-large on the labels, up to size 14.

At Brandy Melville, nearly all the clothes are small, though a medium will pop up here and there. To be able to shimmy into Brandy Melville’s only size of skinny jeans, a girl would need to have a 25-inch waist — that’s around a size 0 or 2, depending on the brand. Most skirts and shorts on the website are about the same size. Similar skinny jeans at teen fashion powerhouse Forever 21 span sizes from 24 to 30 inches. In the U.S., the average 16-year-old girl is approximately 5 feet 3inches tall, weighs about 138 pounds and has around a 31-inch waist, according to a 2012 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tut-tutting from Slate:

Browsing Brandy Melville’s online store, where most pants come in sizes 00 to 2, one has to wonder, “‘One size fits most’ of whom?” A store has the right to sell to whomever it pleases, and Brandy Melville certainly has the right to only make clothes for the select few to whom every other store in the country already caters. But in the words of my mother and probably yours, “Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.”

Though Brandy Melville is extreme, it is not alone in its skinny-only mindset. Abercrombie and Fitch drew criticism last year because of its refusal to make clothes for bigger girls. Many stores don’t bother carrying above a size 18 (and that’s being generous) despite the fact the average American woman wears a size 14. In other words, women up to seven sizes below average can find clothing, but women more than two sizes above are told to, “eat less.”

And teen girls are getting the message loud and clear: More than half of them use unhealthy weight control methods, including skipping meals and purging, in obsessive pursuit of bodies that Brandy Melville implies “most” people already have. In an ideal world where body size, character, and worth were not conflated, perhaps a store like Brandy Melville could coexist with the department stores and plus size stores. But we do not live in that world, and girls above a certain size are already taught they’re not good enough.

Yes, we must outlaw Brandy Melville because it makes big girls feel bad. Better yet–let’s force Brandy Melville to make clothes in bigger sizes. We need a National Ministry of Size and Self-Esteem to make sure that no one gets hurt by the idea that some girls are smaller and skinnier than others.

Posted by Charlotte Allen

Feminists go ballistic over Mrs. George Clooney’s calling herself “Mrs. George Clooney”

The cat that got the cream
George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin got married in late September, and everyone gushed. Amal Alamuddin changed her last name to Clooney on the website for her law firm Monday, and the town that is the Internet lit torches and tried to chase Mrs. Clooney through the streets, claiming she was “giving up a fundamental human right” and renouncing “her feminist credentials.” One site called it silly, and said the human rights lawyer ”is doing the world a disservice by demonstrating that even very powerful and successful women are still less important than the men they marry.” Another chided the newlywed, saying she has reduced her status from person to “actor’s wife,” and even went so far as to say “you have lost your marbles.”
“Jesus, what woman would not take George Clooney’s name?” asks Elle relationship columnist E. Jean Carroll. “I’ve been married several times. I’ve never taken a man’s name in my life, but I would never tell Amal what to do. I’m a radical, radical feminist, and it doesn’t bother me at all.”

That’s not what her colleague Natalie Matthews felt, writing that she felt “a twinge of disappointment” because “women keeping their maiden names is not just a rare phenomenon but a decreasing one.”

Matthews is right. Wedding website reports that 80% of its surveyed brides are taking their spouse’s name.

I sure did. People were writing me off as a pathetic spinster before I got married–so why would I want people writing me off as a pathetic spinster after I got married?

h/t Amy Alkon, who writes:

Quite frankly, when you bag one of the biggest animals on the hunt, it seems only natural to want to mount the antlers on your hood.

Or…maybe you just think it’s nice to signal “My life has changed” by going in for an old tradition and taking your husband’s name. This is especially appealing if your name used to be Ahmadinejad…or…something, and your husband has a nice, easy, roll-off-the-tongue name like Clooney.

But, Noooooooo!…this absolutely cannot be, according to the dictates of the fundamentalists populating feminism. And, in case you were wondering, that’s because feminism isn’t about women having choices — it’s about feminists bullying women into making the choices feminists think they should.

Posted by Charlotte Allen

What’s worse? Pink “breast cancer” merch, or bleating about its evil corporate manufacturers?

My latest blog post for the Los Angeles Times:

It’s October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

That means it’s the Month of the Pink Products. The idea is that if you buy one of those rose-colored items, ranging from pink smartphone cases to pink Cuisinarts to pink-labeled jars of spices on your grocery shelf, the manufacturer will donate part of the profits to fund research for a cure for the devastating disease that mostly targets women. You can buy a pink purse, a pink T-shirt, pink sunglasses, a pink bracelet, a pink-jeweled navel ring, a pink-capped face moisturizer, even a pink-frosted Mardi Gras-style “king cake” from a New Orleans bakery. (The cake is shaped like one of those ubiquitous folded pink ribbons that also mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month.)

And, just as you might expect, October is also the month of the National Harping From the Feminist Left About All Those Pink Products. No sooner does the moon phase into its 10th cycle of the year than the moralizing articles appear in the media about the horror that corporations actually make money selling all that pink merchandise — and they get free favorable publicity for themselves when they jump onto the breast cancer awareness bandwagon.


Posted by Charlotte Allen

Green trifecta: Green-card sham marriage, weed grow house, and “climate change” ethical jams

Cylvia Hayes is the busy green bee of the Oregon state house:

Marriage No. 4 in the works for Hayes, 47, and marriage No. 3 for Kitzhaber, 67

Oregon’s first lady has admitted to taking part in a plan to illegally grow marijuana on a property more than a decade ago.

Gov. John Kitzhaber’s fiancée, Cylvia Hayes, acknowledged her role in the joint purchase of property in Washington state in 1997, which she and another man intended to use to grow marijuana, KOIN-TV reported on Monday evening. The purchase came four months after she was paid $5,000 to enter into an illegal marriage to an Ethiopian man to allow him to stay in the U.S., something she apologized for at a tearful press conference last week.

Hayes and another man purchased the property in November 1997 for $245,000 but stopped making payments on it in April 1998. Patrick Siemion, who sold the couple the property, said the pair “had been growing marijuana” and that it was “obvious” they had bought the property for that purpose.

Hayes said that the money she received from her illegal marriage went toward purchasing a laptop and paying for school, and not to paying for the property in Washington.

Kitzhaber announced his engagement to Hayes, Oregon’s official first lady since 2011, in August. The governor is seeking a fourth term against Republican Dennis Richardson.

Hayes’s troubles over the marriage fraud and the grow house are nothing (the former is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, but the five-year statute of limitations for prosecution has long since run) compared to a complex network of seeming ethical conflicts reported by the Willamette Weekly over her joint roles as self-described alternative-engery guru for her fiance and head of an environmental consulting firm, 3E Strategies, whose clients have won contracts with the state of Oregon:

Since Gov. John Kitzhaber took office in January 2011, Hayes, 47, has played a central role in his administration. She keeps a desk in the governor’s office, attends senior staff meetings and communicates regularly with agency directors.

She travels on trade missions to Asia and Europe not just as the governor’s partner, but as an important player conferring with other leaders. The bio she provided to the National Governors Association highlights her role as a “policy adviser to Gov. John Kitzhaber on the issue of clean energy and economic development.”


As a public official, records show, Hayes has pushed for economic and energy policies while accepting payments from private advocacy groups seeking to influence those same policies.

In addition, Hayes has regularly directed her state-paid assistant to do work for her private consulting business. And she has used her title as first lady and as adviser to the governor at events when she was not representing the state but instead appearing as a paid consultant.


For example, Hayes last year spoke at a Maryland conference on sustainable economic development. She was billed as first lady of Oregon, even though she was appearing as part of a contract she had received from the conference’s sponsor, a New York advocacy group called Demos.

Records show Hayes last year signed new consulting contracts worth at least $85,000 for work that overlapped with her work in the governor’s office.

That’s more than three times the income Hayes reported on the 2012 tax return,

Hayes does not draw a state paycheck. But Kitzhaber’s general counsel, Liani Reeves, told WW in August that under Oregon law, Hayes is considered a public official. That means her actions as first lady and as an adviser to Kitzhaber are governed by state ethics laws.

Hayes also has continued her outside work as a private consultant on energy and economic issues. Like the spouses and partners of other elected officials, she is pursuing her own career.


As a public official, records show, Hayes has pushed for economic and energy policies while accepting payments from private advocacy groups seeking to influence those same policies.

In addition, Hayes has regularly directed her state-paid assistant to do work for her private consulting business. And she has used her title as first lady and as adviser to the governor at events when she was not representing the state but instead appearing as a paid consultant.

For example, Hayes last year spoke at a Maryland conference on sustainable economic development. She was billed as first lady of Oregon, even though she was appearing as part of a contract she had received from the conference’s sponsor, a New York advocacy group called Demos.

Records show Hayes last year signed new consulting contracts worth at least $85,000 for work that overlapped with her work in the governor’s office.

That’s more than three times the income Hayes reported on the 2012 tax return….


One of her business deals created a big political problem for Kitzhaber in 2010, when he was running for governor after eight years out of politics and facing a strong challenge from Republican Chris Dudley.

In 2009, Hayes’ firm competed for a consulting contract given out by the Oregon Department of Energy. Her firm came in last in the rankings. State officials, aware of her relationship with Kitzhaber, guaranteed her firm got some of the work anyway.

The deal triggered a criminal investigation by the Oregon Department of Justice in the middle of Kitzhaber’s campaign against Dudley. Hayes was never accused of wrongdoing. But the investigation, which finished after Kitzhaber took office, found state officials had steered a $60,000 contract to Hayes’ firm.


In 2011, Kitzhaber named Hayes to a seven-member team charged with writing his 10-year energy plan, which his administration touted as a path toward Oregon’s energy independence. Hayes also gave speeches as first lady and policy adviser about energy issues.

She also continued her consulting work.


State disclosure forms Hayes filed in 2012 show she signed a new contract with Waste to Energy Group, a for-profit California firm. The company hired Hayes in July 2011 to help secure a contract to convert methane from a Bend landfill into energy. (Kitzhaber’s energy plan, which was still being written at that time, would later emphasize the importance of alternative fuels.)

In her statement to WW, Hayes also denied ever using publicly paid staff to assist her private consulting business.

That’s also not true.

In a July 20, 2011, email obtained by WW under a public records request, Hayes directed her state-paid assistant, Mary Rowinski, to schedule time with Waste to Energy executives. Hayes’ client wanted a meeting July 25, 2011. “Please add to Google calendar,” Hayes wrote to Rowinski.

That was a small request. But state law is clear: Public officials cannot use taxpayer resources for their private business. Over time, according to people familiar with Hayes’ schedule, she routinely directed Rowinski to book hotels and make plane reservations for her private consulting work.


In 2013, the size of Hayes’ private consulting contracts increased. One new client was Resource Media, a Seattle nonprofit that promotes sustainability.

In March 2012, Resource Media reached out to Kitzhaber’s office to promote an initiative called the Pacific Coast Collaborative Action Plan on Climate and Energy, a joint venture among California, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and British Columbia.

Sources say Hayes was directly involved in this initiative in her public role as adviser to the governor. In March 2013, she assumed a private role as well, signing a $20,611 consulting contract with Resource Media.


Resource Media arranged for Hayes to speak at a May 3, 2013, conference on ocean acidification at the University of California, Irvine. The conference program called her a “clean economy expert and first lady of Oregon.” There was no disclosure she was being paid by Resource Media.

Hayes provided the same bio for another Resource Media event. Sources say Rowinski booked Hayes’ travel for the event, a June 5, 2013, panel called “A Focus on Coastal Communities: Local Responses to Global Challenges” at the Capitol Hill Ocean Week conference in Washington, D.C.

Energy Foundation is a San Francisco nonprofit that encourages governments to address climate change.

In her public role as a Kitzhaber adviser, Hayes worked with Energy Foundation. Along with the governor, she spoke at a Jan. 13, 2012, Energy Foundation event in Seattle called the West Coast Clean Economy alignment.

A year later, Hayes pitched Energy Foundation to hire her as a private consultant.

On Jan. 3, 2013, Hayes sent an email to Katie McCormack, the group’s Western region program director.

“I would like to talk to you about the 2013 work and getting it funded,” Hayes wrote to McCormack. “Do you have some time in the next week or so?”

In May 2013, Hayes signed a $40,000 contract with Energy Foundation.

Then there was that trip to Bhutan:

In April 2013, the Oregon Legislature was wrestling with cuts to the Public Employees Retirement System, possible tax increases and a contentious debate over the Columbia River Crossing project.

In the middle of this, Kitzhaber and Hayes flew to a conference called Global Well-being and Gross National Happiness Lab in the Himalayan nation of Bhutan.

Paid for by the German government, the trip was controversial. Critics said Kitzhaber should not have traveled while lawmakers were struggling with important issues.

What the public hasn’t been told is that Hayes used the trip to help land another consulting contract.

In her public-official role as adviser to the governor, Hayes had been working with an organization called Demos, which promotes a new method of measuring economic output called the Genuine Progress Indicator.

In April 2012, Kitzhaber and Hayes attended a Portland State University session on the topic, and later that year appeared at a Demos conference in Maryland.

Lew Daly, director of policy and research for Demos, met with Hayes and Kitzhaber in Bhutan. Shortly afterward, Hayes landed a $25,000 contract with Demos.

Daly acknowledges he met with Hayes in Bhutan, but it had nothing to do with her hiring.


While on contract to Demos, Hayes attended conferences and delivered speeches across the country. She was introduced not as a paid consultant to Demos but as Oregon’s first lady. The work included a trip to Baltimore, where she moderated a Demos panel that featured Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs.

By the summer of 2013, Hayes’ private work was raising concerns inside Kitzhaber’s office—which was delicate given that she was the governor’s partner. During a speech she gave at PSU last April, Hayes acknowledged as much.

“A couple of years ago, I was having a tense conversation with a couple of John’s—aka, the governor’s—senior staff,” Hayes told her audience. “We were having a conversation about how I would contribute to these issues while being in this awkward and bizarre role of first lady. I was feeling very thwarted by that. I was getting some pushback from the guys, and one of the them said, ‘You know, when you work for the governor…’ And I said, ‘I don’t work for the governor, I work for the earth.’”

And “the earth” was paying its employee pretty well:

…Hayes published an article in the September/October 2013 edition of the journal Aquaculture North America titled “Pacific Coast shellfish industry is canary in coal mine.” In the article, she warned about ocean acidification, an issue she had been hired by Resource Media to publicize.

Hayes’ bio for the article described her as CEO of 3E Strategies, “first lady of Oregon” and “policy advisor to the governor on the issues of clean energy and economic development.”

The following month she penned an article for the Huffington Post, promoting the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy. That’s the carbon-reduction effort by West Coast states and British Columbia, promoted by Resource Media.

In the Huffington Post article, Hayes identified herself as “first lady of Oregon; founder/CEO, 3EStrategies” and made no mention that she was paid by Resource Media.

Hayes also continued to mix her role as adviser to the governor and consultant to Demos.

In October 2013, Hayes circulated a draft pitch to state officials. She was seeking $100,000 in foundation funding for a project to be led by her and Demos, that would create an Oregon Genuine Progress Indicator. Matt Shelby, a spokesman for the state Department of Administrative Services, says the pitch did not get grant funding, but the state did hire a staff person to develop an Oregon GPI.

But, hey, it’s all for a good cause: saving the planet:

In speeches, Hayes has made clear that she sees Kitzhaber and herself not only as life partners, but as partners in working on big problems such as climate change that Washington, D.C., won’t address.

“Our federal government is off the rails,” she said in an August 2013 speech in Vermont. “This is one of the biggest reasons that John decided to run for governor and I decided to jump into this bizarre position of being first lady. John and I jumped in because we do believe we are at a point where incrementalism isn’t going to cut it anymore.”

Except for those incremental “climate-change” consulting fees. They’re green in more ways than one.

Posted by Charlotte Allen


Tax dollars at work: U. of California campus offers online abortion propaganda course

It’s not a course on how to do an abortion. It’s a course on how to love an abortion:

Each week’s lectures will incorporate the stories of women who seek abortion in order to better portray abortion significance and rationale.  Other topics will include a brief history of abortion, the clinical aspects of medication and procedural abortions in and after the first trimester, an overview of patient-centered abortion-care, the basics of abortion counseling, the professional obligations of health care practitioners to ensure that women have access to safe abortion care, and the maze of restrictions that make safe abortion care inaccessible to many women.

Don’t know much biology? No problem!

While a basic knowledge of public health terminology may be helpful, there are no specific prerequisites.

Plus–it’s a gut!

Learners should plan to spend 3-5 hours of time on this course each week.  This time will include 2 to 2½ hours for video lectures, 30 minutes for reading, and 30 minutes to 1 hour for assessments.

Here’s part of the syllabus:

WEEK 1: Introduction and Abortion around the World

  • Introduction to the public-health framework of this course

  • Who has abortions, why, and how do they access care

  • History of abortion and abortion stigma


  • WEEK 4: Obstacles to Accessing Safe Abortion in the US and Worldwide
    • Who has abortions after the first trimester and how do they access care
    • Clinical aspects of abortion after the first trimester
    • Role of patient preference in appropriate care
    • Complications and myths about abortion

    WEEK 5: Overcoming Obstacles to Abortion Access

    • Sociology of abortion especially related to health and health-care disparities
    • Impact of obstacles on clinical care
    • Importance of abortion training for health professionals

Top tax-dollar priority: more abortions.

h/t: Victory Girls

Posted by Charlotte Allen

Wendy Davis: “Gee, I know a lot of people in wheelchairs–and here they all are–count ‘em”

Wendy’s wheelchair roundup:

Flanked by two people in wheelchairs and one with cerebral palsy, Davis on Monday doubled down on her strategy at one of the oddest press conferences of the cycle. Davis basically repeated the contents of the ad (somewhat robotically at times), painting state Attorney General Greg Abbott (R), who is in a wheelchair, as someone who is on the wrong side of the American with Disabilities Act and works against the disabled community.

“This ad is about one thing and one thing only: it’s about hypocrisy,” Davis said, adding that Abbott sued after he was paralyzed when a tree fell on him while running. “Greg Abbott has shown time and time again that he has worked to deny that same justice to others.” Davis added that Abbott, who leads her in fundraising and in the polls by about 10 points, lacks leadership and empathy. “It’s about building upon our own experiences and using them to champion the causes of others and seeing the young man with cerebral palsy as your son,” Davis said.

Her aides insist that Abbott’s disability is fair game because he has raised the issue of his disability in other ads. “A guy in a wheelchair can move faster than traffic on some roads in Texas,” he says in one ad making the case for fixing Texas’s traffic problems.

Right–because Abbott mentioned his wheelchair in one of his ads, it’s OK to slam Abbott’s wheelchair in your own ads.

Also to haul out a bunch of other people in wheelchairs or with crippling diseases and use them as props.

Posted by Charlotte Allen


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