Pleasant Valley Winery

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

GOP thinks pills migrate to vagina

Women's bodies are a mystery to the GOP. (image: Sebastian Kaulitzki/Alamy)
Women's bodies are a mystery to the GOP. (image: Sebastian Kaulitzki/Alamy)

Women's Bodies Can't Perform Magic. Someone Please Tell Republicans

By Jessica Valenti, The Guardian UK
o Republican men think women are mythical creatures, like unicorns or fairies? It’s the only explanation I can come up with to make sense of the party’s continued insistence that women’s bodies can perform feats of absolute magic.

On Monday, during testimony on a state bill that would ban doctors from using telemedicine to prescribe abortion pills, Idaho Republican Rep Vito Barbieri asked a testifying physician if pregnant women could swallow small cameras so that doctors could “determine what the situation is”.

Dr Julie Madsen – who I imagine must have been suppressing the eyeroll of a lifetime – responded that it couldn’t be done because “when you swallow a pill it would not end up in the vagina.”

Barbieri now says the question was a rhetorical one (that’s the ticket!) but his gaffe reminds us all about just how little Republicans understand about women’s bodies.

Though, again, I’m honored that they think we hold such awesome abilities. After all, who could forget then-Rep Todd Akin’s assertion that women who were “legitimately” raped would not get pregnant because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Like a superpower! Or Rush Limbaugh’s belief that women’s bodies are so all-powerful that we actually require a birth control pill every time we have sex to keep from getting pregnant. But it doesn’t stop there.

Conservatives apparently also think that women are so magic as to almost be immortal - you see, they don’t believe that abortion are ever necessary to save a woman’s life or protect her health. They’re so sure of this, in fact, that they’ve been willing to bet our lives on it. It was just four years ago that House Republicans proposed to pass a bill that would have made it legal for hospitals to deny life-saving abortions to women who needed them and even deny them transfer to another hospital willing to perform the procedure. Maybe they just think we have nine lives? 

Republicans must think we’re magic – how else do they think we can possibly have all these kids (since we’re not supposed to need or want or get abortions) with no paid maternity leave, no subsidized child care, no livable minimum wage and a culture that thinks we’re supposed to grin and bear it?

Shockingly, all the fairy tale tales conservatives have told themselves about women’s bodies and abilities hasn’t done the Republicans any favors around election time.

And despite trainings for Republican candidates to learn how to talk about gender without saying something idiotic about rape or vaginas, Republican men continue to think stupid things about women and women continue to not vote for them.

So please, keep it up, guys. Talk more about what our vaginas can do, or how getting pregnant after rape is a “gift from god”. The more we watch as men who lack basic knowledge of biology and the human reproductive system make laws about what we can do with our own bodies, the more I believe that maybe women really are magic. We take care of our families as Republicans insist we’re “strong” enough to do with less. We battle back against archaic laws and dinosaur politicians. We do things a lot more impressive than swallowing a pill and having it migrate to our vaginas. That’s just weird. 

+15 # CAMUS1111 2015-02-25 17:18
People generally are f'ing stupid; gop'ers are even more stupid than the average; gop'er males are the stupidest because their females allow them to be or because they are even stupider...let' s not go there. Abort all gop'ers? Hmmm???
+11 # nancyw 2015-02-26 00:59
Camus111- are you saying stupid men are stupid because their women let them be stupid? So it's not once again ever the man's responsibility to become smart? Please. Men need to be responsible for their own stupidity. Victims again having be responsible for the perpetrator.'s education. Geez. C'mon ...
+2 # bmiluski 2015-02-26 10:11
Nancycyw, I agree with you. Men DO have to take responsibility for their actions. However, women MUST stop enabling them and allow them to grow-up.
+23 # Archie1954 2015-02-25 23:27
"Know nothing about women's bodies"? That because no decent, intelligent woman would let any Republican near her body
+13 # jsluka 2015-02-25 23:50
Actually, and quite surprisingly, millions of American women continue to vote for these Rethuglican mysoginyst idiots. If women did not support them, it would tip the balance to the Dumbocrats.
+2 # deadhead 2015-02-26 07:54
This phenomena is directly related to the effect of religion and, by extension, the long term success of Republican candidates and their supporting machinary in using social issues to win all these local and congressional elections. When we saw the Republican office holders ignore the socially divisive stances once in office, we started to believe that those issues were "manufactured" cynically just to win elections.and they were. For a time. But now so much of the electorate is so enamored of these 'social truths" that they fully expect their newly elected public servants to pursue those social agendas, just as promised. It's no shock to me that these "public servants" reflect their supporters. Women included, who for some unfathomable reason, other than their devout fundamentalist, male dominated "religion", happily and in your face, vote against their own best intetests. The real shock to me is the appalling drop off of progressive, thinking voters in these "off year" elections. The country is far more progressive than the current face of congress represents, but due to jerrymandering and our indifference to it (based on voter turnout), resulting in more of the same election after election. The intensity and tolerance of cuckoo science amounts to nothing more a type of sharia law, Christian style.
+12 # itchyvet 2015-02-26 00:42
Quote, " Idaho Republican Rep Vito Barbieri asked a testifying physician if pregnant women could swallow small cameras so that doctors could “determine what the situation is'. Unquote.
Surely this is meant to be IRONY ?
If not, Americans should be terrified, that folks with such an understanding of sexual reproduction are actually in a position of power within U.S. Government.
+5 # ptalady 2015-02-26 03:08
As much as I resonate with the disdain expressed in this article, the thing is...I would think it would not be to the vagina that the swallowed camera would have to migrate -- it would be more into the fallopian tubes or uterus. The abortion pill is designed for use within 5 weeks after conception. I don't think much change would be visible in the vagina at that point.
+2 # bmiluski 2015-02-26 10:14
ptalady.....I don't think Barbieri would have understood the words fallopian tubes or uterus.
+1 # bmiluski 2015-02-26 10:13
Itchyvet.....We ARE terrified that is why we vote against them. However, there are those who believe that supporting them will somehow allow them into their club.
+3 # AUCHMANNOCH 2015-02-26 05:32
Any camera you swallow will go nowhere near fallopian tubes uterus or vagina of course and therefore it would simply end up excreted. Maybe Republicans should enter into exploratory and meaningful discussions with the Old Lady that swallowed a fly? Their mental development is about at the nursery rhyme level.
+1 # cymricmorty 2015-02-26 09:20
That imbecile (Barbieri) must have still believed babies grow in their mothers' stomachs.
-3 # 2015-02-26 05:53
Of the 20 medical doctors in the 113th Congress, 16 are Republicans.

Lee Nason
New Bedford, Massachusetts
+6 # nogardflow 2015-02-26 07:35
Not sure what your point is. Is it that even though they are doctors, they still don't know how the female body works, or is it that they are too lazy to inform their colleagues about how it works, or is it that they're just being a**holes?
+3 # cymricmorty 2015-02-26 09:10
On the subject of women's bodies and repub physicians in congress, Phil Gingrey, a former OB/GYN, said Todd Akin was "partly right" about women's bodies "shutting that thing down" after rape. Science seems to have utterly failed him. Good thing he's no longer in practice.

Scott DesJarlais: Anti-abortion, yet his wife had 2 and his mistress famously had 1 at his behest.

Rand Paul: Ophthalmologist who couldn't pass board certification exam, so made up his own, and lo!

And how could we forget: Tom Coburn's last act in office was to block a Senate vote on veterans' suicide prevention.

That's off the top of my head. There's probably more...much, much more.
+1 # bmiluski 2015-02-26 10:15
What is your point Lee?
+2 # pagrad 2015-02-26 07:27
It’s not funny, -unfortunately!
The Republican political party philosophy has been a failure for the last 100 years!
Google it. Any high school student with a credible education knows that it wouldn’t work. Unfortunately, many American voters haven’t had a good education, either, so they can’t distinguish it.
+2 # bmiluski 2015-02-26 10:17
I wouldn't say last 100 years. I thought Eisenhower was a very good president. After that though.........

Gardening books on sale at Library bookstore

During March the Library Friends of Payson Bookstore is offering a 2 for the price of 1 special on books about gardening, home decorating, home repair, and cooking.

This is a great opportunity to spruce up your garden or home and update your recipe file as we head into spring.  Hurry in for the best selection.

As always, the second item must be of equal or lesser value than the first. We will also continue the special on romance paperbacks at 10 for $1.

Bookstore stock changes rapidly.  Therefore, the wise shopper stops by frequently.  Bookstore volunteers are always happy to help you, and all proceeds directly support the library.

The LFOP Bookstore is located to the right of the circulation desk just inside the Payson Public Library, 328 N. McLane Road.  For more information visit the Library Friends of Payson website at

Republicans unlearning facts learned in 3rd grade

Republicans Rick Perry, Jeb Bush, and Scott Walker. (photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty, Kevork Djansezian/Getty, Darren Hauck/Getty)
Republicans Rick Perry, Jeb Bush, and Scott Walker. (photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty, Kevork Djansezian/Getty, Darren Hauck/Getty)

By Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker
25 February 15 

n the hopes of appealing to Republican primary voters, candidates for the 2016 Presidential nomination are working around the clock to unlearn everything that they have learned since the third grade, aides to the candidates have confirmed.

With the Iowa caucuses less than a year away, the hopefuls are busy scrubbing their brains of basic facts of math, science, and geography in an attempt to resemble the semi-sentient beings that Republican primary voters prize.

An aide to Jeb Bush acknowledged that, for the former Florida governor, “The unlearning curve has been daunting.”

“The biggest strike against Jeb is that he graduated from college Phi Beta Kappa,” the aide said. “It’s going to take a lot of work to get his brain back to its factory settings.”

At the campaign of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, the mood was considerably more upbeat, as aides indicated that Walker’s ironclad fa├žade of ignorance is being polished to a high sheen.

“The fact that Scott instinctively says that he doesn’t know the answers to even the easiest questions gives him an enormous leg up,” an aide said.

But while some G.O.P. candidates are pulling all-nighters to rid themselves of knowledge acquired when they were eight, the campaign of Rick Perry, the former governor of Texas, is exuding a quiet confidence.

“I don’t want to sound too cocky about Rick,” said one Perry aide. “But what little he knows, he’s shown he can forget.”

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Study: Pot safer than alcohol, all other drugs


Provided by Newser
Up at night worried whether marijuana is fatal? Then rest easy: New research says it ranks low on a list of recreational drugs and alcohol—at the bottom, in fact, the Washington Post reports.

Researchers figured the fatality risk of these substances by comparing lethal doses to the amount people normally consume. The deadliest was booze, followed by heroin, cocaine, tobacco, ecstasy, and meth.

Anchoring the list is weed, which makes it 114 times less likely to kill you than alcohol, according to the study published in Scientific Reports.

In fact marijuana is the only drug in the study "that posed low mortality risk to its users," says the Post. This echoes 10-year-old drug safety evaluations, so it's more confirmation than fresh news, but comes as the national debate heats up over marijuana legalization.

This doesn't make marijuana completely safe, however. It's still addictive, dumb to smoke while pregnant, and a possible threat to cognitive functioning, according to an earlier Post story. 

AAP News adds that marijuana seems particularly dangerous to children. And arguments that marijuana is OK because it's "natural" and "medicinal" don't add up, either (rattlesnake venom is also natural, and prescription painkillers, which kill tens of thousands annually, are certainly medicinal). 

But marijuana's lack of killing power suggests "a strict legal regulatory approach rather than the current prohibition approach," the researchers say. In fact, the Post adds, "it takes extraordinary chutzpah" to complain about marijuana and have "a glass of far more lethal stuff in the evening." (See why stoners are safer drivers than drunks.)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Why corporations owe each and every U.S. household $10,000 per year


The Alaska Permanent Fund proved a success, therefore an America Permanent Fund (APF), based on that program, would benefit both the rich and poor. We all deserve to receive some national productivity.

Published: February 23, 2015 | Authors: | NationofChange | Op-Ed
That estimate is based on facts, not the conservative-style emotion that might deny the responsibility for any debt to the American people. Wealth redistribution to big business has occurred in a variety of ways to be explained below. And there’s some precedent for paying Americans for the use of their commonly-held resources. The Alaska Permanent Fund has been in effect, and widely popular, for over thirty years.

The Main Argument: Corporations Have Used Our Money To Build Their Businesses

Over half (57 percent) of basic research is paid for by our tax dollars. Corporations don’t want to pay for this. It’s easier for them to allow public money to do the startup work, and then, when profit potential is evident, to take over with applied R&D, often with patents that take the rights away from the rest of us.All the technology in our phones and computers started this way, and continues to the present day.

Pharmaceutical companies have depended on the National Institute of Health. The quadrillion-dollar trading capacity of the financial industry was made possible by government-funded Internet technology, and the big banks survived because of a $7 trillion public bailout.A particularly outrageous example of a company turning public research into a patent-protected private monopoly is the sordid tale (here) of the drug company Gilead Sciences.
Adding to the Argument: Publicly Funded Technology Is Taking Our Jobs Away

Despite a continuing growth in productivity in the last 35 years, wages have fallen dramatically, and now it’s getting even worse, as technology and new business models have begun to diminish the need for warehouse workers, bank tellers, cashiers, travel agents, and a host of other middle-income positions. Underemployment and long-term unemployment are on the rise. Jobs involving product delivery, driving, and serving food may be the next to go.

We paid for the technology that is reducing us to low-wage workers.

Corporations Owe $5,000 Per Household for the Public Research Bill

According to the National Science Foundation (Table 4-3), public money pays for about 30 percent of all U.S. research, including basic, applied, and development. 30 percent of over $2 trillion in corporate profits comes to about $5,000 per U.S. household.

Add $2,000 for Pollution and Disaster Relief Costs

A quarter of the fossil fuels produced in the U.S. in 2014 came from public land, much of it by the two biggest oil producers, Exxon and Chevron, neither of which pay much in U.S. taxes, and both of which claim mostly foreign profits despite using mostly U.S. resources.

It is estimated that pollution costs run anywhere from $71 billion to $277 billion per year. The midpoint of $174 billion comes to about $1,500 per U.S. household. It is further estimated that federal and state disaster relief payouts cost every person in the US more than $300, which translates to well over $500 per household.

Add Another $3,000 Per Household for Unpaid Taxes and Corporate Welfare

Tax avoidance and federal tax subsidies add up to about $3,000 per household, per year. A lot more could be added if the industry-specific costs of excessive bank fees and overpriced medications were factored in.

That’s a total of at least $10,000 per household, per year. If the corporations plead poverty, they might be reminded about the 95 percent of S&P 500 profits spent on stock buybacks (which enrich stockowners) and dividend payouts, and the $2 trillion hoarded overseas in tax havens.

The America Permanent Fund

With an America Permanent Fund (APF), based on Alaska’s successful program and further developed by Peter Barnes, all of us — rich and poor alike — would receive a share of our national productivity, as indeed we deserve.

Not only is the APF fair, but it is also good business. Money earned by average Americans stimulates economic activity. A stronger consumer class will generate even more profits for the nation’s corporations, if those big profit-makers will support the people who provided most of the labor and resources.

Bio: Paul Buchheit is a college teacher with formal training in language development and cognitive science. He is the founder and developer of social justice and educational websites (,,, and the editor and main author of "American Wars: Illusions and Realities" (Clarity Press). He can be reached at

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Grand Canyon killing illustrates perils wolves face


First Gray Wolf Spotted at Grand Canyon

in 70 Years Shot Dead by Hunter

Although it is sad news that the first gray wolf to be seen near the Grand Canyon in 70 years was shot by a hunter mistaking it for a coyote, the fact that the wolf ventured over 700 miles into new territory is further evidence that gray wolf populations are coming back from the brink of extinction.


Bio: Ari Phillips is a reporter for A native of Santa Fe, New Mexico, he received his bachelor of arts in philosophy from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and dual master’s degrees in journalism and global policy studies from the University of Texas at Austin. He previously held internships with The Texas Observer, the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies in Japan, and the Center for Global Energy, International Arbitration, and Environmental Law at The University of Texas School of Law.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

GOP resolution proposes gay marriage ban

The Hill

A resolution introduced in the House proposes amending the Constitution so that only marriages between men and women are legal. 

The amendment as outlined in the resolution, offered by Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), would allow states not to recognize same-sex marriages.

"Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman," the proposed amendment reads.

Amending the Constitution requires ratification from three-fourths of state legislatures.

Huelskamp's resolution, which currently has 29 Republican cosponsors, comes in light of an Alabama judge ordering probate judges earlier this month to ignore a federal ruling to allow same-sex marriages.

The Supreme Court will also consider a case this summer determining whether same-sex marriages should be legally recognized in all 50 states. Oral arguments are slated for April, with a decision expected by the end of June.

In a House floor speech, Huelskamp said the institution of marriage is being "trampled upon" by the recent rulings in favor of gay marriage and needs clarification from Congress.

"The plain and simple truth is this: marriage is vital to our economic success, cultural well-being, and our children. And sadly, it is being trampled upon as we speak," Huelskamp said.

Huelskamp accused judges of allowing their personal biases to cloud rulings on same-sex marriage.

"Unelected judges from all across the country are forcing their personal feelings and biases against traditional marriage upon the American people. This judicial activism has thrown the social and legal status of marriage into chaos," Huelskamp said.

The 29 Republican lawmakers who have signed on as cosponsors of Huelskamp's resolution are Reps. Jeff Duncan (S.C.), Joe Pitts (Pa.), Steven Palazzo (Miss.), Steve King (Iowa), Randy Weber (Texas), Richard Hudson (N.C.), John Fleming (La.), Joe Wilson (S.C.), Walter Jones (N.C.), Bob Latta (Ohio), Rick Allen (Ga.), Randy Hultgren (Ill.), Sam Johnson (Texas), Jody Hice (Ga.), Robert Pittenger (N.C.), Brian Babin (Texas), Stevan Pearce (N.M.), Doug LaMalfa (Calif.), Andy Harris (Md.), Glenn Grothman (Wis.), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Bill Flores (Texas), Tim Walberg (Mich.), Jim Jordan (Ohio), Keith Rothfus (Pa.), Randy Neugebauer (Texas), Bruce Westerman (Ark.), Mike Kelly (Pa.) and Bob Gibbs (Ohio).