Sunday, July 31, 2011

President Obama Surrenders, Again

As expected, Mr. Post-Partisan caved again. President Obama has proved over and over again that he is not a fighter! Because he is such a gutless wonder, people are going to suffer. With Democrats like Obama, who the hell needs Republicans?

Paul Krugman: The President Surrenders:

He surrendered last December, extending all the Bush tax cuts; he surrendered in the spring when they threatened to shut down the government; and he has now surrendered on a grand scale to raw extortion over the debt ceiling. Maybe it’s just me, but I see a pattern here. ..

[H]e could and should have demanded an increase in the debt ceiling back in December. When asked why he didn’t, he replied that he was sure that Republicans would act responsibly. Great call.
. .

And the damage isn’t over: there will be more choke points where Republicans can threaten to create a crisis unless the president surrenders, and they can now act with the confident expectation that he will.

The deal a disaster, and not just for President Obama and his party. It will damage an already depressed economy...The worst thing you can do in these circumstances is slash government spending, since that will depress the economy even further.

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sexism Watch: Tim Gunn Trash Talks Hillary Rodham Clinton (Video)

Tim Gunn and George Lopez have a little sexist fun making fun of Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton.

"WHY must she dress that way? I think she's confused about her gender."

Audible gasp by the audience.

Lopez doesn't do much to help with his follow-up question:

"But how can someone hide cankles?"
Story continues below

Cue second audience gasp.

Jezebel: "Why, exactly, is that her job? Dear Tim Gunn: Shut the fuck up."

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Agrippina the Younger (AD 15 - AD 59)

Welcome to the Bachelor – Ancient Rome. I’m your host Crispianus Harrisonius. Our Bachelor this season is Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, known to his friends and family as Claudius. He’s also the 4th Emperor of the Roman Empire who has overcome numerous obstacles in his life, including a debilitating disease, a speech impediment and murderous relatives. He is newly widowed with six children. His wife Messalina was recently executed, I mean died suddenly. She literally lost her head you could say! Although Claudius told his Praetorian Guard that they should kill him if he married again, the death of an Empress leaves an opening that needs to be filled. Despite his recent tragedy, our.62 year old bachelor is ready to find love again.

Our first bachelorette Aelia Paetina, is the ex-wife of the Emperor, and mother to his daughter Claudia Antonia. Her good qualities include the fact that she is harmless and would be a good step-mother to his two youngest children. Our second bachelorette is Lollia Paullina; her best qualities include the fact that she is incredibly wealthy. Turn-offs include the fact that she was once married to Claudius’s nephew and previous holder of the tile of Emperor, Caligula. Our final bachelorette and the clear favorite is Agrippina the Younger. Agrippina is 33, twice-widowed (although there are rumors that she helped her 2nd husband to the after-life!), with a young son Nero. Her only drawback is that she is Claudius’ niece, the daughter of his beloved brother Germanicus. So who will Claudius pick?

Claudius (struggling to get the words out): Agrippina, will you accept this final rose?

Agrippina (practically ripping the rose out of Claudius’ trembling hand) – I thought you’d never ask!

Let’s find out a little more about our lucky Bachelorette! Agrippina the Younger has suffered untold tragedy in her life. Orphaned at an early age after the deaths of her parenst, she was raised amidst the malevolence, suspicion and violence of the imperial court.

Agrippina (weeping while looking to the camera): my father, Germanicus was hugely popular but Great Uncle Tiberius was extremely jealous of his popularity not just with the people but with the army. So he had him killed. At least that’s what Mummy thought. Of course we could never prove it. To silence her, he had her sent into exile where she died of starvation. Two of my brothers, Drusus and Nero, also died under suspicious circumstance. Thank goodness for my great-grandmother Livia and my grandmother Antonia, they taught me how to survive in the cutthroat atmosphere of the court.

Rumors flew that she, along with her sisters, was raped by her brother Caligula. To silence the gossip, she was married at 13 to her second cousin, Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus.

Agrippina: He was 25 years older, extremely wealthy but with a nasty temper, and a bit of a control freak. It was not a match made in heaven, but out of the union came my beautiful boy, who we named Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus after his grandfather. When my husband was congratulated on the birth of son, he remarked, “I don’t think anything produced by me and Agrippina could possibly be good for the state or the people.” Can you believe that?

When Agrippina’s brother Caligula became Emperor of Rome, at first he treated Agrippina and her two sisters Livilla and Drusilla very well but there were rumors that he continued to be involved with them incestuously.

Agrippina: At first things were great between my brother Caligula and us. He made us Vestal Virgins which gave us the freedom to view public games from the upper seats in the stadium. Coins were issued depicting images of us which had never been done before. It was totally cool but after our sister Drusilla’s death, Caligula acted as if we didn’t exist anymore. We were no longer accorded the respect we were due as the Emperor’s sisters. He’d clearly lost his marbles, I mean making a horse Senator? We just couldn’t stand by any longer and let him ruin the empire. So my sister Livilla, along with our brother-in-law Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, plotted to murder Caligula. Once Caligula was dead, Lepidus would be the new Emperor. Unfortunately the plot failed, poor Lepidus was executed, and Livilla and I were sent into exile to the Pontine Islands. It was horrible, not only was I separated from my beloved boy, but he was now disinherited by Caligula.

In AD 41, Caligula was assassinated and Claudius was now Emperor. Recalled from exile, Agrippina became one of the most prominent and well-respected women in Roman society. Widowed after the death of Ahenobarbus, she married again, this time to another wealthy older man, Passienus Crispus.

Agrippina: I was so happy to be back in Rome after so long and to see my son again. Unfortunately I’d had to leave him with my former sister-in-law Domitia Lepida. I can’t stand that woman, and her daughter, well I hate to use this word because I’m a lady but she’s a bit of a slut. She’d married my uncle Claudius while I was away. Poor old thing, he has no idea what she’s been getting up to behind his back. She’s just hateful! Apparently she was so threatened by my son that she tried to have the boy strangled while he was taking a nap. Thank god, the assassins were frightened by what they thought was a snake underneath his pillow (it turned out only to be the snake’s skin). My good friend Pallus, the Imperial Treasurer, well he feels the same way as I do about Messalina. Frankly it was just a matter of time before she screwed up so much that even Uncle Claudius couldn’t ignore it. I wasn’t surprised when I’d heard that she’d married her lover Gaius Silius. Uncle had no choice but to have her executed.

Welcome to the After the Final Rose Special. I’m your host Crispianus Harrisonius; bringing you the latest news on our happy couple, Claudius and Agrippina. When we last left the couple, Agrippina and Claudius were engaged. The fact that she was his niece and that it was illegal to marry her was just a tiny hiccup on the road to their marital happiness. The Roman Senate obliged by removing that little obstacle and the couple were married 3 months after Messalina’s death. Rumor has it that the new bride is just as ruthless and ambitious as her predecessor but savvier, and determined to make sure that her son succeeds as the next Emperor.

Let’s hear from the happy couple. Claudius?

Agrippina (interrupting before Claudius can get a word in.)Thank you so much Crispianus for having us back. I think I can speak for my husband when I say that we have never been happier. They say that I’m now the most powerful woman in Rome but really I’m just happy to be a housewife, taking care of her man. I have so much do what with running the Imperial Household. It won’t run itself! The first thing that I did was to quickly get rid of anyone I thought was loyal to the memory of Messalina. I just didn’t think it was fair to me to have to deal with the memories of my predecessor. I’m afraid that mean that Messalina’s mother, who was my former sister-in-law had to go.

Crispianus – When you say had to go, don’t you mean executed?

Agrippina (laughing too hard) Oh, Crispianus, for some people, their time has come. Then we have the happy news of my son marrying Claudius’s daughter by Messalina, Claudia Octavia. The boy that she was betrothed to was just not suitable. He was having an incestuous relationship with his sister!

Crispianus (Trying not to roll his eyes at Agrippina's hypocrisy) – I’ve heard rumors that Claudius plans on adopting your son? But doesn’t he already have a son Britannicus?

Claudius (jumping in before Agrippina can stop him) we’re very close.

Agrippina: Of course it is only natural to assume that Britannicus will succeed his father after Claudius’ death. However, Tiberius adopted my brother Caligula, so I don’t see there is a problem. A little competition is good for boys.

Crispianus Harrisonius: Claudius finally gave in and adopted the boy, changing his name to Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus. In AD 50, Agrippina was given the honorific title Augusta by her husband, a title which no other woman had received during the lifetime of her husband. She was only the third woman after Livia and Antonia Minor (Claudius and Germanicus’ mother) to receive the title. All was not happy in paradise however. Claudius soon began to regret his decision to marry Agrippina and to adopt Nero; he began to favor Britannicus again, preparing him to take over the throne. Rumor has it that Claudius also began to drink heavily.

Claudius (slurring his words): It’s my lot in life to marry outrageous wives and then punish them.

Agrippina (bearing a dish of mushrooms): Here darling, it’s your favorite dish. Bon Appetit!

Claudius greedily eats the mushrooms. Suddenly he grabs his throat and keels over into his plate.

Town crier: Emperor Claudius is dead at the age of 63 Long Live the Emperor Nero!

20/20 AD 54:

Crispianus Harrisonius: I’m here in Rome for the coronation of the Emperor Nero. At the age of 17, he’s too young to rule on his own. So his mother Agrippina, who as you remember received the final rose a few years ago on The Bachelor, has stepped in to help him reign. We welcome Agrippina to the show.

Agrippina: Yes, I have been helping in what ways that I can to guide my son Nero but as I’m only a woman there is only so much I can do. I’ve tried to help him by appointing advisors that I know that we can trust. I’m not allowed in the Senate, however I do watch and listen from behind a curtain. (She holds up a coin) It was so sweet of Nero to allow my portrait to appear on every coin. Of course my name is given precedence because I am his mother. Nero’s handwriting is so bad, that I have to write letters foreign dignitaries in his name. In my spare time, what little there is, I’m writing my memoirs. Did you know that at Nero’s birth, an astrologer predicted, “He will be King and he will kill his mother.” Well he almost killed me while I was in labor, the little scamp. He was in the breech position, feet first! It was painful let me tell you! No wonder I never had another child. Nero was more than a handful!

Crispianus Harrisonius - Do you care to address the rumors that you poisoned your late husband Claudius?

Agrippina (gritting her teeth) - That's silly. Every one knows that he ate a dish of bad mushrooms. It can happen to anyone. Really, people need to get a life instead of spending their time spreading vicious rumors.

20/20 AD 59:

Crispianus Harrisonius (standing in front of the Imperial Palace): But all was not well in the Imperial Household. Unfortunately for Agrippina and Rome, Nero had a little too much of his uncle Caligula and his father in him and not enough Augustus Caesar. Although he had once dreamed of being an actor and singer, now he spent most of his time seducing men and women, spending the Imperial Treasury on building projects. That would have been fine but he began to show a lack of his respect towards his mother and Agrippina wasn’t going to stand for that! When she tried to sit next to him on the Imperial dais during a public session, Nero stood up and escorted her to a seat lower than his.

A power struggle between mother and son soon began when Nero began an affair with a freed slave named Acte, of whom Agrippina disapproved. She preferred Nero’s wife Claudia Octavia, who not only came from the Imperial line, but was also docile and no rival for her husband’s affections. When she scolded him for his behavior, Nero banished her confidant Pallus. Seneca, who Agrippina had brought back from exile to tutor Nero, and Burrus, the commander of the Praetorian Guard also, encouraged his independence. Agrippina began to holding Britannicus over his head, threatening to make him Emperor instead of Nero. However, her plan backfired when Nero had Britannicus poisoned at a banquet. Nero now removed Agrippina’s Praetorian Guard, stripper of her titles, and banished her from the Imperial palace.

Still Agrippina was not down and out. There were rumors that she tried to seduce her way back into her son’s good graces. When that didn’t work, Nero decided he’d had enough of his mother and decided to remove her permanently. He had drunk from the milk of deception at her breast. Luring her with the prospect of a nautical promenade in her honor, he tried drowning her by building a self-sinking boat. When the boat collapsed as promised and sank, Agrippina simply swam to shore. When news of Agrippina’s survival reached Nero, he sent three assassins to stab her to death. Agrippina was not surprised. Her reputed words to the men were to “Smite my womb!”

Agrippina is a cautionary tale of what happens when a woman tried to step outside the Roman ideals regarding the roles of women in society. Some see her as a vicious and unnatural, a depraved sexual psychopath. After Agrippina’s death, Nero seemed haunted by the ghost of his dead mother, suffering from nightmares, and going to so far as to hire exorcists to remove her spirit from the Imperial palace.

For 20/20, this has been Crispianus Harrisonius reporting live from the Imperial Palace Rome.


Anthony Blond – A Scandalous History of the Roman Emperors, Carroll & Graf, 2000
Annelise Freisenbruch- Caesars' Wives: Sex, Power, and Politics in the Roman Empire, Free Press, 2010
Shelley Klein - The Most Evil Women in History, Metro Books, 2003

Monday, July 25, 2011

DSK Maid Speaks Out: ‘I Want Justice. I Want Him To Go To Jail’ (Video)

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#1 Trending Topic on Twitter: FU Washington

#FuckYouWashington is the #1 trending topic on Twitter right now . . .

@blogdiva Liza Sabater
RT @Ziggy_Daddy: #FuckYouWashington, for maintaining us in a perpetual state of war while ignoring hunger, poverty and income inequality.

@inflector Curtis Faith
#FuckYouWashington for hiking college tuition 3 times faster than incomes while making sure college loans can't be discharged in bankruptcy.

@hyperlocavore Liz McLellan
#FuckYouWashington For treating #addiction in the wealthy as a healthcare issue, and as evidence of criminality in everyone else.

RT @ShrikeTron: @vigilantefilm #FuckYouWashington for not even considering universal health care while over 70% of the public support it. #fyw

RT @Tortured_Verse: #FuckYouWashington for the criminal pillaging of the Social Security trust fund #wiunion

RT @novenator: RT @PaulaConnell @KimClune: #FuckYouWashington for keeping the American Dream alive for just 1% while funding it with the other 99%.

RT @novenator: RT @Aine @TWinterSchorr: #FuckYouWashington 4 pretending this is a democracy when it is actually corporate facism

@Rippedlikejesus Crybabyspiderman
#Fuckyouwashington and beware, there is a revolution afoot this country! Good hard working people are are fed the fuck up. And it's hot out.

@gregorylent gregorylent
looks like #fuckyouwashington is not dead ... could go for months. longer than the economy.

#fuckyouwashington: The story of a hashtag and a movement

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Bernie Sanders: Primary President Obama

Bernie Sanders suggests that the way to save Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid from President Obama, aka the Conceder-in-Chief, is to primary him:

"I think there are millions of Americans who are deeply disappointed in the president, who believe that with regard to Social Security and other things, he said one thing as a candidate and is doing something very much else as a president. Who cannot believe how weak he has been for whatever reason in negotiating with Republicans, and there’s deep disappointment. So my suggestion is, I think one of the reasons the president has made the move so far to the right is that there is no primary opposition to him and I think it would do this country a good deal of service if people started thinking about candidates out there to begin contrasting a progressive agenda as opposed to what Obama believes he’s doing. [...] So I would say to Ryan, discouragement is not an option. I think it would be a good idea if President Obama faced some primary opposition."

Speaking of the Conceder-in-Chief: The Return Of The Bride Of Barack Obama Buys A Lawnmower

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Paul Krugman: 'What Evidence Do We Have That Obama Knows What He’s Doing?'

Quote of the Day

"I am among those in a state of suppressed rage and panic over the president’s negotiating strategy. I’d like to believe that it’s all 11-dimensional political chess; but at this point — after the midterm debacle, after the big concession on taxes without even getting a raise in the debt limit — what evidence do we have that Obama knows what he’s doing?"

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Hyatt Hotel Punishes Striking Workers By Shining Heat Lamps on Picket Line

I guess the management at Hyatt thought the ongoing heat wave wasn't hot enough for their 'on-strike' workers who were walking the picket line outside the Chicago hotel.

Hyatt punished their workers by turning on the outdoor heat lamps that are normally used in cold weather. For shame:

Combined with the outdoor air temperature, Linda Long says it was hotter than the Hyatt kitchen she’s worked in for eleven years. “They put the heat lamps on us, like we were nothing,” Long said. “If the heat didn’t kill us, the heat lamps would.” The heat lamps were turned off when the press showed up. [via Michael Moore]

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Gay ‘Barbarians’ Descend On Bachmann's Clinic (Photo)

Via Think Progress: Gay ‘Barbarians’ Demand Ex-Gay ‘Discipline’ From Bachmann Clinic

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Rachel Maddow: U.S. Is Now Crazy About Women's Soccer (Video)

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

via Women and Hollywood

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Video Of Attacks Against LGBTs During 1996 DOMA Debate

Republican homophobes Tom Delay, Trent Lott, Bob Barr, etc., express their fear of 'the gay' as they justify DOMA back in 1996:

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Belle Boyd: Siren of the Shenandoah

She was called the ‘Siren of the Shenandoah’ and the ‘Joan of Arc of the South,’ by her beloved Confederacy. To the North, she was ‘The Most Overrated Spy,’ and ‘The Camp Follower.’ The French called La Belle Rebelle. By the time of her 18th birthday, Belle Boyd had pulled a pistol on a Union soldier who had threatened her mother (he died but to everyone’s surprise, Belle got off), used her feminine wiles to find out information on Union troop movements which she passed along to Stonewall Jackson and been arrested and imprisoned as a Confederate spy who fell in love with her captor.

Maria Isabella Boyd was born in 1844, the oldest of three surviving children. Her father managed a small tobacco farm and country store in the town of Martinsburg, Virginia (now West Virginia). In her memoirs, she wrote that she came from a tightly knit family who were responsible and protective of one another. Headstrong and charming, she managed to get her own way most of the time. “I passed my childhood as all happy children usually do, petted and caressed by a father and mother, loving and beloved by brothers and sisters.” Told that children weren’t allowed at dinner parties, Belle once rode her horse into the dining room, declaring that her horse must be old enough to attend. Her parents were embarrassed and angry, but one of the guests interceded on Belle’s behalf. “Surely so high a spirit should not be so thoughtlessly quelled by severe punishment. Mary won’t you tell me the name of your little rebel?”

The little rebel in the making was promptly shipped off to the Mr. Washington Female College, a boarding school in Baltimore where she learned French, music and classical literature. While at school, Belle kept up with the news, often debating the subject of slavery with her fellow classmates who came from both the North and the South. Four years later, the hoyden had blossomed into an elegant, refined young lady, at least on the surface. Blue-eyed Belle, with her cascading golden brown curls, was a hit with the local swains who buzzed around her like drones vying for the attention of the Queen Bee. A fashion plate with a perfect figure, Belle soon had the other young women seething with jealously over her flashy dresses in bright red and green. They thought she was too vivacious; her dresses too tight and short, showing off her delicate ankles.

Belle made her debut at during the winter of 1860-1861 in Washington, DC. Belle and her mother spent most of their time with her aunt and uncle, living in a huge house where they entertained frequently. She later wrote that she waltzed her way into society ‘with high hopes and thoughtless joy.’ Belle was soon hob-knobbing with congressmen, senators, and even the Secretary of War. Despite the gaiety, there was talk about the dire political situation. A died in the wool Southerner, Belle couldn’t resist slipping away to listen to the men engaged in intense political debates. But the parties couldn’t last. In March 1861, Abraham Lincoln took office as President. A few weeks later on April 11th, a group of Southerners attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina. A few days later Lincoln declared “a state of insurrection.”

Soon the southern states had seceded from the Union, Virginia seceding 3 weeks before Belle’s 17th birthday. The northern part of the state split off and became the new state of West Virginia including Belle’s hometown of Martinsburg. At 44 years old, Belle’s father was one of the first to enlist in the Confederate army, later serving under Stonewall Jackson. When war was declared, Belle threw herself heart and soul into the Confederate cause. She considered herself an adult, ready to take on the Union army and the world.

Now that Martinsburg (the town changed hands no fewer than 30 times during the War) was under Union control, Belle soon realized that she could help the Southern cause more by charming them, rather than shooting them. She shocked people by waving to soldiers on the street, both Union and Confederate. At dinners and dances Belle circulated amongst the men, affecting the persona of a brainless bimbo. She would visit the military camps, accepting rides from enemy officers and soldiers. While not conventionally beautiful, she had a way with me, especially those in uniform, who became her willing slaves at a glance. Belle would flutter her eyelashes, assuring them that had no hostile intentions towards the north. Captivated, officers spilled secrets into her waiting ears which she sent via one of the family’s slaves, her maid Eliza (who carried them in a watchcase) to Jeb Stuart and Stonewall Jackson. However Belle was a total amateur at the spy game, she knew nothing about codes and ciphers, not to mention disguising her handwriting. Before long, she was caught but left off with a warning that the next time. Cheeky in the extreme, Belle saluted the officer with a mocking “Thank you, gentlemen of the jury!”

After that incident, Belle learned the skills that she needed to be a spy via the head of military scouts for the Shenandoah Valley. An expert horsewoman, she even trained her horse to kneel, which came in handy while hiding from Union soldiers in the woods. She managed to wiggle once again out of an arrest, relying on the fact that officials often let female spies off because they believed that they were relatively harmless. One of Belle’s most reckless moves was spying on a group of Union officers who were having dinner at her aunt and uncle’s hotel in Port Royal, VA. Belle hid in a closet and enlarged a hole in the floor, memorizing much of the information, and writing the rest in code. Belle rode through the Union lines using false papers to bluff her way past the sentries, and reported the news to Colonel Turner Ashby who was scouting for the Confederates. For her contributions to the cause, Belle was award the Southern Cross of Honor, and General Jackson also gave her with a captaincy and aide-de-camp positions.

Belle’s most daring delivery happened on May 23, 1862, when she saw Union soldiers swarming through the streets of her hometown. Feigning concern about the Confederate approach, Belle went out to ask passing soldiers about what had happened. She was informed that Stonewall Jackson was within a mile or so of the town. The Union army planned on burning the stores in the depot and burning the bridges as they crossed. Thinking quickly, Belle grabbed her binoculars and went up to balcony of her house to see if the information was accurate. Spying the Confederate advance guard ¾ of a mile away, she attempted to flag get one of the men she knew to be a southern sympathizer to bring the information to General Jackson. When no one picked up the gauntlet, Belle grabbed a white bonnet and made her way through the Union soldiers. Finally reaching the open fields, she ran all the way to the Confederate camp, dodging bullets, until she arrived waving her white bonnet and was able to give the information to the officer in charge, confirming what he already knew. Thanks to Belle, the Confederate soldiers were able to retake Martinsburg and to save the bridge.

Belle’s comeuppance came through a handsome union spy by the name of C.W. Smitley who posed as a confederate soldier who had been paroled. He wooed Belle with moonlight walks, piano duets and cuddling and smooching until she trusted him completely. When C.W. told her he was being deported down South, Belle asked him to carry a message to General Jackson. Smitley turned her in on July 29, 1862, and Belle was hauled off to the Old Capitol Prison in Washington, D.C. Belle treated prison as if it were a holiday, singing southern songs to cheer up the Confederate prisoners and to irritate the guards. One visitor found Belle reading Harper’s Magazine and reading a peach. In 1863, she was released in a prisoner exchange to Richmond, basking in the admiration of the citizens. But by the end of the year, Belle was back in prison, this time in the dingy and dreary Carroll prison where she soon came down with typhoid. She was finally released after her parents pleaded with those in charge.

In 1864, Belle decided to make her way to England, which meant running the Union blockade. When her ship, The Greyhound, was captured she met a Union officer by the name of Samuel Wylde Hardinge who had been sent to sail the captured crew and ship to Boston. The couple fell in love but that didn’t stop Belle from helping the Greyhound’s revel captain to escape. Once the ship reached Boston, Belle was banished to Canada, and told not to re-enter the United States on pain of death. Belle sailed to England where she was reunited with Hardinge who claimed that he had permission to leave to travel abroad. They married, but Hardinge was treated as a deserter and thrown in prison when he went back to the United States to clear his name.

Like Rose O’Neal Greenhow, Belle decided to write her memoirs. However, she wrote a letter to President Lincoln, offering to give up the idea if he would release her husband from prison. Lincoln never answered her letter and Belle Boyd in Camp and Prison was duly published, becoming a best seller in England. After the war, and now a widow (although there is speculation that Hardinge just disappeared from her life), Belle became an actress. She married again in 1869 and gave birth to four children. To make ends meet, she toured the country giving dramatic lectures of her time as a Civil War spy.

Belle died in Wisconsin in 1900 of a heart attack at the age of 56. She is buried in Spring Grove Cemetery, far from the Shenandoah Valley that she knew and loved. Her tombstone reads “Belle Boyd, Confederate Spy, Born in Virginia, Died in Wisconsin, Erected by a Comrade.”


Mary Rodd Purbee - Outrageous Women of Civil War Times, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2003
Penny Colman – Spies! Women in the Civil War, Betterway Books, 1992
Ruth Scarborough – Belle Boyd: Siren of the South

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Rep. West: Debbie Wasserman Schultz Is Vile, Despicable & Not A Lady

Florida GOP Congressman Allen West is having a temper tantrum because Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz critiqued his slash and burn policy positions. In retaliation Congressman West got livid and wrote a letter to colleagues calling the Congresswoman names.

The not so grown-up Congressman called Debbie Wasserman Schultz "vile," "despicable" and "not a lady." The livid Congressman also ranted that the Congresswoman should just "shut up." We're pretty sure that what the Congressman means is that ladies keep their mouths shut. Rep. West should consider Prozac, or perhaps retire from office if he's not up to a little critique, since there's absolutely no chance that Debbie Wasserman Schultz or any other pol is going to consider his delicate feelings and shut up.

Insane Florida Congressman Allen West Wildly Overreacts to Criticism

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Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann

Quote of the Day

"The system that's the problem here, the system that's the barrier is, broadly, patriarchy... (Clinton) wore pants suits with pearls. ... She was properly masculine and properly feminine. (Clinton) did this performance and it didn't quite work. And then Palin is doing this performance where she is taking the line between masculine and feminine and she takes a wide stance. She's hyper-masculine . . . and then she's also hyper-feminine. ... She was still beaten up. (Palin) provided kind of a different brand or approach than Hillary Clinton and it didn't matter."

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Rupert Murdoch's Wife Tackles Shaving Cream Pie Assailant


His wife Wendi played bodyguard, catapulting herself toward the attacker with arms and nails flailing. His son James just stood there.

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Scandalous Book Review: My Year with Eleanor

Author:  Noelle Hancock
Imprint: Ecco
On Sale: 6/7/2011
Pages: 304
Price:  $24.99

After losing her high-octane job as an entertainment blogger, Noelle Hancock was lost. About to turn twenty-nine, she'd spent her career writing about celebrities' lives and had forgotten how to live her own. Unemployed and full of self-doubt, she had no idea what she wanted out of life. She feared change—in fact, she feared almost everything. Once confident and ambitious, she had become crippled by anxiety, lacking the courage required even to attend a dinner party—until inspiration struck one day in the form of a quote on a chalkboard in a coffee shop:

"Do one thing every day that scares you."

—Eleanor Roosevelt
Painfully timid as a child, Eleanor Roosevelt dedicated herself to facing her fears, a commitment that shaped the rest of her life. With Eleanor as her guide, Noelle spends the months leading up to her thirtieth birthday pursuing a "Year of Fear." From shark diving to fighter pilot lessons, from tap dancing and stand-up comedy to confronting old boyfriends, her hilarious and harrowing adventures teach her about who she is, and what she can become—lessons she makes vital for all of us.

My thoughts:   This book is a bit of a departure from the book I normally review on Scandalous Women, although I suppose that Noelle Hancock could be considered a modern day Scandalous Woman in that she learns through the course of the book how to pursue her passions without fear and without censuring herself. If there's one thing that all the women I've written about have in common, it's learning to live without fear or to use the fear that they feel. Certainly there must have been times when both Anne Boleyn and Joan of Arc felt fear although they took pains not to show it. 

From the very first sentence, I found this book delightful and engaging. What an interesting premise, using Eleanor Roosevelt as a guide to pursue a 'Year of Fear."  I must confess, though, that I was predisposed to like this book simply because the name Eleanor Roosevelt was in the title.  She's long been a heroine of mine ever since I saw Jane Alexnder portray Eleanor in the TV miniseries Eleanor and Franklin.  Like Noelle, I admire how she managed to grow from a fearful child, adored by her alcoholic, suicidal father and despised by her beautiful, glamorous mother, into a force to be reckoned with.  Let's face it, FDR became who he was, partly because he was married to Eleanor.  He certainly didn't have much interest in the downtrodden before he married her, he was more concerned with getting into the right clubs at Harvard and following in the footsteps of his cousin Teddy.

I also related to this book because I know what it's like to be unemployed all of a sudden and realize that you've spent the better part of three years working so hard that you end up losing friends because you never seen them. Just as Noelle found inspiration in Eleanor, I think a huge number of people will hopefully find inspiration in her, even if they don't decide to climb Mt. Kilamanjaro.  Sometimes, it's just the little baby steps that have the most resonance, like learning the trapeze or performing karaoke (I give Noelle mad props for that one, that's something I don't think I'll ever be brave enough to do!). I also think that most readers can relate to having parents, who although they love and support you, still wish you were doing something more substantial with your life (basically what they want you to do!).

One of the things that I enjoyed about the book was the way that Hancock managed to weave Eleanor's story into the narrative.  It never felt like an information dump of facts and figures. She always managed to relate the anecdotes to whatever was going in her life, whether it was taking a trip to Hyde Park to visit Val-Kill or the Roosevelt estate, or relating tidbits about Eleanor's dysfunctional childhood. At the end of the book, not only did I want to go back and read more about Eleanor, but it also made me aware of ways that I can face fear in my own life. How many of us wish we had the courage to make peace with our old boyfriends, or to simply try something new?

It's to the book's credit, that it never felt preachy or like an episode of Oprah. I also adored the Eleanor quotes at the start of each chapter. I will think about this book next time I walk into a room and I don't know anyone.  I'll just ask myself "What would Eleanor do?"

Verdict - A charming and self-deprecating look at one woman's year long journey to self-discovery.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Elizabeth Warren Considers Run for Senate

Elizabeth Warren is thinking about mounting a campaign to reclaim Ted Kennedy's senate seat. It's true that Scott Brown's popularity is polling surprisingly high. It's also true that few, if any, liberals incite more unbridled enthusiasm than Elizabeth Warren. That's because this country has a desperate need for the kind of outspoken charismatic liberal leader that Elizabeth Warren is.

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Obama Throws Elizabeth Warren Under the Bus

Wall Street wins. We the people lose. Thanks Obama:

"There was no way Elizabeth Warren was ever going to be the permanent director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The banks didn’t want her."

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Stop President Obama’s Plans to Cut Social Safety Net Benefits

Stop President Obama’s Plans to Cut Social Safety Net Benefits

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Is Everyone on The California Milk Board Sexist? Apparently.

If you thought for a minute that some forms of blatant sexism were left behind way back in the 1950s, then you haven't met the California Milk Board.

Gee, if milk cures crazy menstruating women, I wonder if milk is the solution to our moody and always disagreeable 83% male Congress. Maybe if Congressmen were required to drink milk, they might stop their incessant squabbling long enough to get something done.

And when can we get a product to cure rapists, batterers and the many many other forms of rampant male violence?:

The $1.2 million campaign, which includes print ads featuring distressed, guilty-looking men with taglines such as “I’m sorry I listened to what you said, not what you meant,” social media and a website, plays it up to the poor men who are burdened each month by nagging, irrational and, god-forbid, bloated premenstrual women. Not surprisingly, women (including this one) are far from pleased.

Jezebel: Telling Men They’re Victims Of PMS Sure Is An Interesting Way To Sell Milk:

The same people that brought you "Got milk?" are now trying to sell milk to men by telling them that it's linked, loosely, to alleviating PMS. According to The New York Times, "To make it seem as if the campaign is offering a public service to the men affected by PMS, the Web site's address ends with "dot-org" rather than "dot-com." Some examples of what can be found on this website: Bitches are crazy, man.

Image via

Thanks Zee!

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Politico: All the Women Are Polarizing

Funny, if you asked me, I'd say that it is the joke that calls itself Congress that is "polarizing." Politico didn't ask me:

Tempers flared at a congressional hearing Thursday before the polarizing star witness, Elizabeth Warren, said a word.

I think this means that Elizabeth Warren is definitely qualified to run for president. Has a woman ever run for president who was not labelled "polarizing" by our delusional, hopelessly male-centric press?

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Women's Soccer Players Pose Naked: "Is this how we should show up before you come to our games?"

via Feminist Law Professors:

If you’re following the Women’s World Cup, you may know that three members (L-R Elodie Thomas, Gaetane Thiney, and Corine Franco) of the French team posed for the German tabloid Bild under the heading, “Is this how we should show up before you come to our games?”

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz: GOP Behave Like Spoiled Children (Video)

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Woman Accused of Cutting Off Husband's Penis Said he 'Deserved' It


Becker, 48, told police she had drugged her husband’s dinner to make him sleepy, then tied him to the bed. As he awoke, she cut off his penis with a knife, tossed it in the garbage disposal and turned the disposal on. Police untied the victim, who was taken UCI Medical Center, where he underwent emergency surgery. Police said Becker and her husband, 51, were going through a divorce and that she told officers he “deserved it.”

The severe nature of the crime led detectives to classify it as “aggravated mayhem,” an offense punishable by up to life in prison, Nightengale said. “The intention by this person was to permanently deprive this victim of his genitalia,” Nightengale added.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sexist Lawmakers in Austria Defend the Patriarchy from Feminist Lawmakers

Male lawmakers in Austria remind us that deplorable sexist pigs are everywhere. The male lawmakers recently prevented feminist lawmakers from raising the issue of changing one little line in the Austrian anthem from “Home you are to great sons" to “Home of great daughters, sons."

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