Every state has its reputation. It’s not necessarily deserved. In West Virginia, no one wears shoes! Ha ha! In Montana, men are men and sheep are nervous! Ha ha! None of it’s true, of course. Sheep barely notice little man-peckers. And any number of West Virginians own footwear. I’ve seen ‘em. What West Virginia is really known for is the greatest salamander diversity on the planet. Or should be.
But there are legitimate differences. Californians really do wear hemp face masks. Oregonians knit theirs out of moss. Floridians’ face masks are made of liberals’ hopes and wishes.
And sometimes the differences become clear in legislation.
In the same week in March, the governors of Washington and Idaho each signed important legislation addressing their most vexing problems. Governor Inslee of Washington signed a transportation revenue bill directly addressing what he considers our most urgent issue, climate change. It provides for a number of projects including the electrification of ferries, new walking and biking corridors, replacement of fish culverts, and free public transportation for children up to age 18, and pays for it in part by a cap-and-trade carbon pricing program for the state’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases.
Not to be out-governated, Brad Little of Idaho slapped his John Hangcock on a shiny new anti-abortion bill, correctly surmising the greatest threat to the state is the net loss of tiny Aryan babies. His bill allows people to sue medical professionals who perform abortions after the point certain fetal tissues begin to quiver, or about two weeks after a woman realizes she’s uh-oh missed her period. The bill awards no less than $20,000 to the mother, father, grandparents, siblings, aunt or uncle of the unrealized fetus or embryo, in a successful lawsuit.
This means, among other things, a pregnant woman could conceivably (ha!) drop $500 for an abortion and then sue the provider for twenty large, which—I don’t know—may not have the dampening effect on abortions that is intended.
The legislation does delicately carve out an exception for rapists, who will not be allowed to sue their victims’ abortion providers. But the rapist’s brothers could. All ten of them, if applicable. You just can’t put a price tag on thwarted unclehood. I mean, yeah, it’s worth at least $20,000, but it could totally be more.
Governor Little made an impassioned and articulate objection to the bill’s language, which he believes is both unconstitutional and unwise, and said it weakens our collective liberties, and is likely to re-traumatize the victims of rape and incest. And then he the hell signed it. Because, you know, tiny Aryan babies, and re-election.
Ah, Idaho! Idaho (motto: We can’t spell our motto) is such a bastion of individual freedom that a large swath of rural Oregon residents are angling to yank the state border westward so they can be Idahoans too. Nothing should get in the way of personal liberty: we should be free to burn standing timber if we want to. Bring an assault rifle into City Hall if we want to. Aerosolize our mucus in a crowded theater if we want to. Refuse to carry an embryo to term if we…oh wait.
Meanwhile, back in the state of Washington, where Republicans are not in ascendance, the Republican delegation is upset that they were left out of the transportation policy decision-making. They were not consulted on methods for paying for the bill, and they thought it was awful that ordinary citizens were going to have to pony up an extra $45 when they first register a vehicle. (I myself have registered four since 1977, so it adds up.) That, by God, is a new tax. And completely unnecessary when the money could be raised if the state merely sued abortion providers. Or sued teachers who suggest gay people exist, or who say mean things about slavery. The money is out there: it’s just a matter of being creative.
The Midwest, for the most part terrifies me. Then again, I live an hours north of the state who blessed us with the virus known as Joe Manchin. Well, I’d better get back to watching The Handmaid’s Tale to see how this all ends. 😣
I had read the book, and we watched the first season, but had to stop. It was just too depressing — and, possibly predictive of what is going on now. For the record, I would undoubtedly be a “Martha,” as I am way past breeding age and VERY organized. I don’t think I’d like wearing green all the time, though.
Man, I hated that book when I first read it in the ‘eighties. And every time I despair about Joe Manchin and how he cost us the whole ball of wax–perhaps our very existence–I remember that ALL the Republicans did it too. I wonder if we deserve to survive.
I think the Idahos should sue condom manufacturers for trying to prevent embryos from forming. After all it’s just an earlier form of abortion, right? It also gives work to underprivileged lawyers who need more money. Surprised they are not suing a woman for an unused period by not getting pregnant each time. The More Aryans for Idaho campaign is just getting under way.
Yeah, Jono. I definitely owe the State.
West Virginia makes mighty fine potatoes.
See, now, I did not know that.
As always, well done and right on target! Unfortunately, sarcasm and shame are now concepts totally foreign to today’s Republicans.
Most assuredly beyond shame.
Gosh I’m glad I live in Australia.
That’s me, River, from Australia.
Yeah, I don’t know why this site keeps randomly not recognizing people. Are we doing that?
Just to cheer you up, as reported in The Guardian:
“Maryland has become the 15th US state to allow health professionals other than doctors to carry out abortions, as part of a bill expanding access to reproductive rights for women. Under the new law, midwives, senior nurses and trained doctor’s assistants will be authorised to perform medical abortions from 1 July…
The bill was vetoed by the Republican governor, Larry Hogan, but approved on Saturday with substantial majorities in the state house and senate. Hogan claimed in an open letter the bill would “endanger the health and lives of women” and “set back standards for women’s health care and safety”. There is no evidence that allowing advanced clinicians to provide abortion care in states including California, New Mexico, Colorado, Illinois and New Hampshire has led to lower standards. The law, which may face legal challenge from anti-choice groups, also requires most insurance companies to cover the cost of an abortion at no cost to the patient. The average cost of an abortion is $500 but costs vary widely across the US and can be much higher when accounting for travel and days off work.”
Hogan is term-limited and cannot run for re-election. He is decent in terms of being anti-Trump, and should be called before the Jan. 6 committee to discuss how Steny Hoyer, a MD congressman, called him in desperation during the insurrection.
Cool! We do pretty well by women here in Oregon too.
Um… Murr….? You okay…..?
For some reason I cannot figure out, I used to check in on comments way more often when I was on Blogger than I do now that I’m on WordPress. It must have something to do with what’s straight in front of me on my screen. Or, more likely, I’ve gotten addicted to NY Times Spelling Bee and the crossword and Wordle and Quordle and and and
I’m in one of “those” states where people flying overhead are just beginning to nod off due to boredom, possibly, or marginal oxygen deprivation, which is just as well because if they knew in whose air space they were flying, they would all rip their masks off and start dropping syllables. That’s because, well, this is the state where I first saw the bumper sticker: “God is my seatbelt,” and by extension, my mask, though not my fluoride treatment.