I'm feeling the need to go prune something but can't seem to drag myself away from various spectacles on the InnerTubes:
1. Yesterday Republican Speaker of the NC House Thom Tillis ordered citizens cleared from the hallways outside his corner office in the General Assembly in Raleigh. The crowd was orderly, respectful, quiet, and merely curious about what surprise moves the Speaker might be planning to take away rights from the people. John Frank of the News&Observer was on hand to record the event. Apparently, protesters of Republican smash-and-grab politics are now not welcomed on the second floor of the building, while lobbyists from Time Warner and other fat-cat corporatists are. Who knew?
2. Meet Foster Friess, the billionaire born-again backer of Rick "Womb Police" Santorum, the money-man who's been pretty much single-handedly keeping the loser senator's race for president alive ... that and the reanimation of the War on Women's Rights. Friess jokingly told Andrea Mitchell yesterday that in his day (approximately 1905), women didn't need expensive contraception, only an aspirin held tightly between their knees, a joke as revelatory of the century Santorum seeks to reestablish in America as it is tone-deaf. Molly Redden's profile of Friess is not to be missed. And you can thank the good Lord again for a Supreme Court that unleashed the likes of Friess on what's left of our democracy.
3. Speaking of the war on women, female-impersonator Congresswoman Virginia A. Foxx was front and center (and "indignant," according to this reporter) in the Washington carnival of Republicans suddenly newly energized to stop female contraception. Foxx's "indignant" moment came when the reporter pointed out that the man she's endorsed for president, Mitt Romney, while he was governor of Massachusetts "remained mum as the legislature implemented a law requiring insurers to provide contraception in 2003 and his health department issued regulations requiring all hospitals — including Catholic institutions — to offer emergency birth control to rape victims in 2005." You can put a string of pearls on rank hypocrisy but you can't make it think.
4. Meanwhile, the state of Virginia (not named for the Congresswoman, but still) has motored completely off the round ball we call Earth with not one but two legislative assaults on women: (a) declaring that a sperm that has penetrated an egg is a "person" with all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of someone actually breathing air. Now we would assume that once those wise Virginians have amended their Constitution in this fashion, they'll be recalculating when those former fertilized eggs can register to vote ... precisely 18 years from conception, right, or else Virginia has taken away one right in order to manufacture another. (b) A new law forcing -- and we mean that in its rawest, cold-metal form -- a women seeking a legal abortion to undergo a state-sponsored "transvaginal ultrasound," actual penetration with a probe, because -- hey! -- there ain't no humiliation too severe to visit on women who think they own their own bodies.