Monday, April 17, 2023

Truest statement of the week

The documents showed that, contrary to false claims by the Biden administration, NATO troops are on the ground in Ukraine, NATO is directly involved in the war, and the Ukrainian military is in a far worse position than presented by news reports.

These documents have exposed not only the US government, but the New York Times and Washington Post, as liars.

In turn, the major US media outlets have responded by upholding, in principle, the right of the US government to lie to the public.

-- Andre Damon, "The Pentagon leaks and the US media" (WSWS).

A note to our readers

Hey --


We are surprised too.

Let's thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen, Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

And what did we come up with?  

Andre Damon gets another truest.

We're watching the battle be lost before our eyes.

Ava and C.I. weren't too jazzed about this week and C.I. even warned on Saturday that she was blown away by a shot (pneumonia shot) and wasn't sure she'd be able to rally on Sunday.  But they did and took on one of the worst programs NETFLIX has ever offered.

Ava and C.I. also spoke with Kat about the books she reviewed.

Our ongoing list of 2023 notable passings.


Luqman Nation gets another Tweet of the week.

Books covered in the community so far this year.

Rosie O'Donnell's returned to interviewing.

Kat reviews three books.

Mike and the gang wrote this and we thank them for it.



-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.







Editorial: Where is THE NATION . . . or THE PROGRESSIVE . . . or IN THESE TIMES or . . .

 anyone, really?

What are we talking about?

We're not going to repost is because AEI is a bunch of right-wing liars.  But they just released a video about the Iraq War.  Where's the video from THE NATION?  Or any of the other left outlets?

This is how their lies get supported.  We move on to other topics and the right-wing issues one lie after another, year after year, and people start to believe it.

By refusing to address the Iraq War, THE NATION et al are conceding the debate.

TV: Dull and flaccid

ROLLING STONE's Chris Vogner is calling NETFLIX's OBSESSED "the kinkiest" drama the streamer has ever had.  In making that declaration, he confesses to much more than just lack of information. 

GRACE: Can you imagine me in a three-way? 


[Will and Karen laugh] 


KAREN: Honey, I can barely imagine you in a two-way. 


GRACE: Come on, I mean, it's not outside the realm of possibility. 


WILL: Grace, I can see me in a three-way. I can see Karen in a three-way. 


KAREN: Oh, honey, every night with Stan is a three-way:  me, him, and Johnny Walker Black. Just the three of us. 


WILL: But you're-you're just not that girl. 


KAREN: [laughs] No way. No how. 


GRACE: Hey, I have been know to get a little crazy in the boudoir. Some might even call me . . . kinky. 


[Will and Karen laugh hysterically] 


GRACE:  Hey!


WILL: Sweetheart, people who are truly kinky never use the word "kinky."


KAREN: And who the hell says "boudoir"? "Hey, hey, look at me. I'm kinky, and I'm in the boudoir."

"People who are truly kinky never use the word 'kinky'."  If it's worth saying, it's probably already been said on WILL & GRACE (Season 3, episode 6, "Love Plus One" written by Richard Rosenstock).  "People who are truly kinky never use the word 'kinky'."  

People could describe OBSESSED as sad.  As pathetic.  As tired.  As non-compelling.  There are numerous terms that describe this hideous series.

Jay Farrow (Rish Shah) complains at one point, "Anna, I haven't even met your mother!"

It's bad acting, it's bad writing, it's bad nirvana for connoisseurs of truly rotten garbage. 

You might not get why the audience is howling so let's back up a moment.  Jay hasn't met Anna's mother.  But Anna has met Jay's father.  She's met him and then some.

Richard Amitage plays Jay's father William.  He and Anna (Charlie Murphy) have met, their pelvises have met, their privates have met.  If you're wondering, yes, Jay's parents are married.  Mom Ingrid is played by (Indira Varma).  


At the start of the 90s, this material made for a bad book.  Then it was turned into a 'thriller' that flopped, Louis Malle's DAMAGE which barely scraped up $7.5 million in North America.  Overwrought and tedious, someone felt it was perfect for a Greek Opera -- those with that feeling weren't consumers of opera.


Now the garbage has been turned into a streaming trash.

For a project to work, you have to care about the characters.  But William has everything -- including a loving wife -- and he's willing to sleep with this woman -- have an ongoing affair with her while she's seeing his son.  And Anna?  She not only repeatedly sleeps with William but accepts Jay's marriage proposal.

Who are these people?

Not anyone you'd want to know. 

They hump each other repeatedly in one unconvincing scene after another.  Armitage conveys more passion when he's alone sniffing a pillow for scent and jerking off and humping the mattress.  If the sex scenes are bad -- and they are -- what's worse is the post-coital scenes as the shot tries for clever angles to frame Armitage in such a way that you don't see his flaccid penis.

You watch appalled at what you are seeing.  You're disgusted not pulled in.  

If he wants to cheat on his wife, get a divorce -- or at least find a woman who's not engaged to your son.  And what kind of person sleeps with a man's father and also agrees to marry the man?

This is beyond stupid.  Where do they think this ends?

As the four-part series winds down, William shows up at Jay's bachelor party and tells his son, the one he's cucking, "I just want you to be happy."


But you know when he says it, everything's about to get worse.  And it does, as it finally and slowly dawns on Jay.  He rushes to Anna's place, running up several flights of stairs, unable to speak to him mother that he's called on his phone.  He gets to Anna's door and it's locked.  He knocks the door down and sees his father taking a blind folded Anna from behind.  He backs up and falls over the railing, several flights to his death.  His father, nude, rushes down the stairs to embrace his dead son.


Charlie Murphy is lousy in this -- it's hard to imagine any actress  being able to pull off the role of Anna.  But Charlie Murphy reaches new lows in acting and it's because she never reacts in any way that seems remotely human.  True, she was blind folded when Jay burst in.  But even with the blind fold off, Murphy makes the choice to not react.  

The man who proposed to her, that she was going to marry the next day, is dead.  Is dead and dead because he discovered her having sex with his father.  And she's blank and emotionless.  

As the final episode winds down, we're supposed to feel sorry for Anna and William.  Details are piled on, Anna's father molested her -- and did so with her mother's knowledge!  Who cares?  None of that justifies what she did or brings Jay back to life.  On what would have been her honeymoon, she comes on to a stranger until his wife shows up and then she's grinding against a strange man on the beach before later slapping him.  None of it matters.

None of it redeems these characters.  


Instead, we're left nodding along with Ingrid whose last words to her husband are, "You should have killed yourself."


Books (Kat, Ava and C.I.)



We're attempting to again increase book coverage in the community.  Kat's "3 books to skip" Bertill Nordahl's CAT SEVENS, CARLY SIMON AND LEONARD COHEN AND ALL THE OTHERS, David Redford's NEIL& JONI: 2 LIVES, 21 ALBUMS and Ellen Sanders' ROCK AND ROLL WOMENHOOD: CASS ELLIOT, GRACE SLICK, LINDA RONSTADT, FANNY AND MORE.  So, which book did you loathe the most?

Kat: Probably Nordahl's book since it was in Danish.

You got it to read about Carly Simon?

Kat: Yes.

You missed nothing. It's 11 sentences on Carly -- one of which is a quote from "You're So Vain" -- the clouds in my coffee line.  It also has a factual error crediting BOYS IN THE TREES to 1976.  Her 1976 album is ANOTHER PASSENGER.  BOYS IN THE TREES is released in 1978. 


Kat: Thanks.  With her photo on the cover and her name listed second, I would've thought it had a great deal on Carly.  Now I know.

Let's move over to Ellen Sanders who was a semi-popular music writer in the 60s and 70s.  She was no Ellen Willis, she was no Lillian Roxon, she as no Patricia Kennealy-Morrison.  As her place in history is overlooked, she's been repacking her old stuff with no real context or anything of interest which is actually dragging down her legacy.  , Trina's "Ellen Sander's The Lifestyle That Classic Rock Unleashed" covered a collection earlier this year and when we spoke with Trina ["Books (Trina, Ava and C.I.)"], Trina contrasted her with Ellen Willis and others and stated, "They wrote with passion and they made the music come alive.  Her tired writing is dead on arrival and how can you cover the music of the sixties and be so damn boring?"

Kat: I love Cass Elliot and we could all use more coverage of what she gifted the world of music with.  But Ellen Sanders appears to have no idea of what that was.  She's just the name of someone famous that Ellen briefly interviewed.  Same with Grace Slick.  It's boring as hell.  And it's tired and recycled.  And she considers herself a feminist -- then and now -- but you didn't get published in CREEM, for example, back then without sporting sexism.  I can't imagine that she's so busy today that she couldn't find time to provide context for these pieces, to provide overviews on these artists.  

That still leaves David Redford's book on Joni Mitchell and Neil Young.

Kat: I don't get it.  They're both singer-songwriters.  They're both born in Canada.  They both had polio.  But if you're writing a book about music, there's no reason to compare them.  Neil Young is not -- and has never been -- as mature as Joni.  His outlook is that of a child, largely to this day.  Joni was an old soul when she started out.  She's an incredible one of a kind guitar player.  He knows how to strum.  She writes deep, perceptive songs over and over.  He writes fluff the bulk of the time and every now and then stumbles upon a "Helpless." Now if I hold Neil up to his true peers, he's a very strong artist.  But Joni's not his true peer.  Joni is a one-of-a-kind, once-every-hundred-years artist.  Compare him to David Crosby, et all and Neil is pretty amazing.  But he's not -- and never will be -- the male equivalent of Joni.  


Previous book discussions this year:

2023 passings

Lisa Presley -- Elaine noted her passing.

Christine McVie -- Kat covered her passing.


Adam Rich -- Marcia noted his passing.


Jeff Beck -- Kat noted his passing.


Lance Kerwin -- Rebecca noted his passing.

Barrett Strong -- Ruth noted his passing.


Lisa Loring -- Rebecca noted her passing.


Burt Bacharach -- Rebecca noted his passing.


Raquel Welch -- Elaine noted her passing.


Stella Stevens  -- Rebecca noted her passing.


Richard Belzer -- Ruth noted his passing.  


Kevin Alexander Gray -- C.I. notes his passing.


Pat Schroeder -- Kat noted her passing.


Lance Reddick -- Mike notes his passing.  


Darcelle XV -- Elaine notes his passing.


"Mark Russell" -- Ruth notes his passing 


"Elizabeth Hubbard" -- Trina notes her passing.


"Mary Quant and more Peabody nominations" -- Elaine notes a passing.

Tweet of the week





"Mafia Wives (Susan Williams' WHITE MALICE)" -- C.I. reviews this book.


 "The Sewing Circle" -- Marcia reads Axel Madsen's THE SEWING CIRCLE.


 "Ellen Sander's The Lifestyle That Classic Rock Unleashed" -- Trina reviews this book.

"Phyllis Diller 1917 – 2012: News, Quotes, Interview" -- Ann reviews this book.

"Call Her Heroic (Ava and C.I.)" -- Ava and C.I. review this book.

"Boze Hadleigh's Hollywood Gays" -- Marcia reviews this book.


"Robert Sellers wrote a book of garbage" -- Kat reviews HOLLYWOOD HELLRAISERS.   



"SCREAM VI and THE BOYS" -- Stan reviews Ron and Clint Howard's THE BOYS.



"the world according to joan" -- Rebecca reviews this book.


 "Elton John and Whitney Houston" -- Kat reviews Elton John's autobiography and a biography on Whitney Houston.

"DON RICKLES: THE MERCHANT OF VENOM" -- Isaiah reviews this book.




 "Vincent Price and Universal" -- Marcia reviews John L. Flynn's 75 YEARS OF UNIVERSAL MONSTERS and Vincent Price's I LIKE WHAT I KNOW: A VISUAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY.



Video of the week


Kat's got the book reviews

Kat reviews three books:


3 books to skip

I don't speak Danish.  I knew that.  I did not know the language was Danish.  What am I talking about?  Bertill Nordahl's CAT SEVENS, CARLY SIMON AND LEONARD COHEN AND ALL THE OTHERS.  Got it on AMAZON KINDLE UNLIMITED to read and open it up and, "What is this?"  I had no idea.  I read -- as best I could -- a line to C.I. of it over the phone and she said, "It's Danish." 

Well I don't read Danish.  

And that becomes one of the problems with AMAZON's KINDLE UNLIMITED.  I wouldn't have wasted my time on the book if I knew it wasn't in English. 

David Redford's NEIL& JONI: 2 LIVES, 21 ALBUMS was also a mistake.  

You'd never know it to read the book but Neil Young is not in the same stratosphere as Joni Mitchell.  He doesn't have that level of talent.  As a guitarist, he's mediocre.  As a songwriter, he can write a song worth repeat listening every three or four years.  As a songwriter, he's Eric Clapton -- too bad he's not Clapton as a guitarist.

At one point, Redford compares Neil to Gordon Lightfoot.  It's an apt comparison and should have underscored for the writer just how wrong it was to ever think Neil was in Joni's league.

He has a lot of bad gossip -- most of it told long ago and over and over.  When he notes Joni's number one hit ("Help Me"), he should note that it was number one on the AC chart.  Does he not know that? 

If he wanted to write a gossipy tome, he could have, for example, explored "Just Like This Train" which has a role in one of music's great guessing games.  

He also might have noted, when saying Joni didn't like the tour she did with Jackson Browne opening for her, that she and Jackson were a couple and that it ended badly.  

I find it hard to believe -- it could be true -- that the last album Prince bought before he died was Joni's HEJIRA.  Prince was a huge Joni fan.  I don't understand why it wouldn't be until 2016 that he bought one of Joni's most praised albums. I don't understand why he'd feature HEJIRA on camera in his 1986 film UNDER THE CHERRY MOON if he hadn't listened to and liked the album back then?

The Joni sections are more interesting.  That could have been because her art is so much more than most singers.  But, sadly, it's because the writer is forever working in gossip -- this must be about Warren Beatty, this must be . . .

It gets very tiring and very annoying and is exactly the sort of sexism that Joni had to rail against early in her career.  Sadly, decades later, it remains.

When you think it can't get worse, along comes Ellen Sanders unearthing more past writing in some sort of ego destroying effort to ruin whatever's left of her name.  This one collects old interviews (as usual) and is entitled ROCK AND ROLL WOMENHOOD: CASS ELLIOT, GRACE SLICK, LINDA RONSTADT, FANNY AND MORE.


Susan Evans who was a teenager at the time of her profile and played drums for Judy Collins.  I'll give Judy credit for using female musicians.  Suzi Young was the terrorized wife of Jesse Colin Young.  Ellen never says that but what she sketches out -- Jesse pitching his fit over noise -- makes it clear.

"Jesse and Suzi are no longer married" is the 'update' Ellen provides for that chapter.  Really?  I'm shocked.  (He's been married to his current wife for several decades now -- I found that out from WIKIPEDIA.)  

For her wrap up, Ellen wants to talk about how things are now, you know, in 2023.  And what better way to do that, talk about how things are for women today, than to explore The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Led Zeppelin?  Sadly, I'm not joking.

She's planning more volumes -- featuring old interviews with Joni Mitchell, Laura Nyro and Joan Baez, among others.  You have been warned.

Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, April 14, 2023.  The western press continues to Turkey's bombing of Iraq last Friday (even though US service members were part of the convoy attacked), Moqtada has movement issues, the fundamentalist war on LGBTQ+ persons continues in the US, and much more.

Starting in Iraq with big news from their own personal Marjorie Taylor Greene.  Cleric and dwindling cult leader Moqtada al-Sadr failed at forming a government in 2022 and continues to be a failure.  AFP reports:

Iraqi cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr, who wields great influence over national politics, said Friday he was “freezing” for a year his powerful movement over “sinful” practices among supporters.

Al-Sadr, a Muslim Shiite leader, has the ability to mobilise tens of thousands of his supporters with a single message and presents himself as an anti-corruption champion, often clashing with Iraq’s political leadership.

He has repeatedly taken supporters and opponents by surprise with major announcements on social media, such as a Twitter message last year on his “definitive retirement” from politics.

In a statement shared on the cleric’s official Twitter page on Friday, Al-Sadr said he had decided to “freeze the movement… for at least a year”.

Ah, poor, tubby tyke, sounds like he's constipated.  AL MAYADEEN adds:

Al-Sadr said in a tweet that his inability to achieve reforms within the Movement goes at odds with his promises to reform the Iraqi system.  

The leader revealed that his party harbors “corrupt” and “unjust” individuals, whom he could no longer tolerate. 

It's just like when Marjorie and Lauren Boebert had their public break.

But it's so bad, Moqtada is even going off Twitter.  The sacrifices he's willing to make to continue to (mis)lead his cult.  As he has lost many followers, it's not surprising that he's now turning on some of the remaining ones and blaming them for the fact that he's never addressed corruption -- Sadr City remains a slum, Moqtada continues to have money -- but it is surprising that even now the western press (that includes AFP) can't note that his hold is not what it was and that his numbers continue to fall.  There was a time when he could turnout millions -- many years ago.  In more recent years, he'd hidden the growing defections by calling for assemblies on the backs of other causes to make it appear that he still commanded the same following.  He doesn't.  And his most recent action -- which just called for people to walk out of their homes in Sadr City -- found hundreds taking part.  To walk out the front door into their own streets.

Moqtada's failed to deliver.  A cult leader can accomplish a lot -- usually horrible things.  But the cult has to believe in him.  Moqtada's been in charge for too long and his excuses for failing to deliver have exposed him for the fraud he is.  That is why his numbers have decreased and why they continue to do so.

In other news, Saturday, Michael R. Gordon (WALL ST. JOURNAL) reported that the Turkish government carried out an attack Friday on a convoy in Iraq which included three US military members.  Outside THE JOURNAL, there hasn't been much interest among the US press (see this week's State Dept press briefing, for example, where no one even asked about it).  Today, 
Rabia ─░clal Turan  (AA) reports on remarks by US Pentagon spokesperson Patrick Ryder:


The convoy of YPG/PKK ringleader Ferhat Abdi Sahin, codenamed Mazloum Abdi, was targeted on April 7 by a drone strike near Sulaymaniyah International Airport. Three US personnel were in the convoy. The United States Central Command (CENTCOM) reported no injuries.

"On April 7, a convoy, including US personnel, was fired upon while in transit within the Iraqi Kurdistan region in the area near Sulaymaniyah," Ryder confirmed, adding that US forces are in Iraq and Syria in support of the "defeat ISIS mission."

"It struck more than 100 meters from the convoy and CENTCOM is currently investigating the incident," he added.

When asked what was the mission of the US personnel, he responded: "We're supporting the Iraqi security forces as part of the defeat ISIS mission. As you know, we have forces in Iraq. They're not conducting combat operations. They're advising and assisting the Iraqis. And then we have forces in Syria that are supporting the SDF."

The drone that attacked the convoy missed by slightly more than 100 yards, CENTCOM spokesman Col. Joseph Buccino said in a phone call Thursday.

"It didn't hit anything in the convoy," Buccino said.

Abdi is the leader of the Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-led group that the U.S. has allied with in the fight against ISIS.

Responsibility for the strike has been widely attributed to Turkey, although Ankara has denied these claims.

The attack and its aftermath highlight the complicated nature of American relations in the Middle East, where troops tasked with containing ISIS are partnering with Kurdish units seen as threats by NATO ally Turkey, while also defending against attacks from Iran and its proxy militias.  

Even STARS AND STRIPES isn't trying to play like anyone but Turkey carried out the attack.  Despite this, Turkey continues to insist it wasn't them.  

In yesterday's snapshot, we noted the three deaths -- three people electrocuted.  We noted the heavy rain,  the corruption that allows the infrastructure to go unrepaired and climate change.  Today, 

Why it matters: Flooding is a regular occurrence in Iraq and late March saw flooding throughout the country. 

At the same time, Iraq is also experiencing desertification. The situation has worsened in recent years, and Iraq is often described as one of the most at-risk countries in the world to climate change. Iraq experiences relatively high water insecurity thanks to a lack of rainfall and poor water management.

The heavy rain has some potential benefits, despite the dangers. The water levels in eastern Iraq's al-Azim reservoir rose 30%, the Kurdish Iraqi news outlet Rudaw reported on Thursday. 


So let me be sure I understand this, heads did not roll after the disaster a few winters back where Texas' entire electrical system almost collapsed and they still haven't fixed the system (and have seen some 'rolling' issues) but they've got time to to attack LGBTQ+ people?  

At MSNBC, Michael A. Cohen notes a few hate merchants:

When it comes to LGBTQ Americans, the Republican Party has traded its dog whistle in for a train whistle.

This week, for example, during a legislative hearing on a bill that would make it a misdemeanor to use a bathroom that doesn’t match the sex a person was assigned at birth, Florida state Rep. Webster Barnaby called transgender people “demons” and “mutants.” 

“The Lord rebuke you, Satan, and all of your demons and all of your imps who come parade before us,” Barnaby thundered. “That’s right, I called you demons and imps, who come and parade before us and pretend that you are part of this world.”

Barnaby quickly apologized. But his comments, like many political gaffes, told an unpleasant truth: that bigotry and open hostility underpin the GOP’s continuing assault on the rights of transgender and other LGBTQ people. 

Indeed, Barnaby could take a lesson from Florida’s senior Republican senator, Marco Rubio, in how to use greater subtlety when being bigoted toward gay Americans.

On Wednesday, Rubio tweeted a short video by Lt. j.g. Audrey Knutson of the Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Knutson, who identifies as nonbinary, spoke glowingly about their opportunity to read a poem at an LGBTQ spoken word night while stationed on an aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford. According to Knutson: “My grandfather served in the Navy in World War II. He was on board the USS Hornet. And he — it means a lot for me to be able to join the Navy, because he was a gay man in the Navy, and he had a really difficult service. So for me to join as nonbinary is really powerful to me and something that I’m certainly proud of.” 

For most Americans, this would be an inspiring story of service to one’s country. If not for the fact Knutson is nonbinary, one could easily imagine Rubio, who has never served in the military, praising it.

But instead, Knutson’s experience worries Rubio. “While China prepares for war this is what they have our @USNavy focused on,” he tweeted.

In relying on the most juvenile of gay stereotypes, Rubio is suggesting that gay, trans or nonbinary service members are simply not tough enough to fight America’s wars, especially against a rising power like China. Writing poetry is for sensitive emo kids, not killers. (Maybe someone should buy Rubio a book by Siegfried Sassoon.) 

It’s not every day you see a senator denigrating a member of the U.S. military, and it’s far from clear how an LGBTQ spoken word night undermines America’s ability to “prepare for war.” Indeed, one might argue that building camaraderie and acceptance in a diverse institution like the military is essential to enhancing unit cohesion. At a time when enlistment numbers in the military are in steep decline (the military missed its recruitment goals by 25% last year), welcoming all Americans — no matter their backgrounds or sexual orientations — seems more important than ever. 

Noting the bigots of her time, Tallulah Bankhead once declared,  "Too many of our countrymen rejoice in stupidity and look upon ignorance as a badge of honor.  They condemn everything they don't understand."

As over a dozen anti-trans bills are advancing in committees and legislative chambers in at least nine states including Florida, Texas, Tennessee, and South Carolina, other states are continuing to set the groundwork with policies to protect the trans community. 

Recently pro-trans bills in Colorado, SB188; and in Oregon, HB2002, have been moving through their respective state legislatures. 

The Colorado bill also known as “Protections For Accessing Reproductive Health Care” aims to protect individuals including trans people’s access to reproductive health care services and facilities, and prohibit discrimination based on reproductive decisions; and require health care providers to offer unbiased information about reproductive health care options. Furthermore the bill would protect those traveling from states with restrictive reproductive health laws to access care. 

Rep. Brianna Titone, an Arvada Democrat and the state General Assembly’s first out transgender member, calls the bill “imperative” to protect patients and medical professionals who provide health care to transgender people. 

“As laws around the country seek to prevent this care outside their borders, we need a shield to provide these essential services. SB188 will do just that,” she tells me. 

Erin Reed, a trans activist and journalist who testified in favor of the legislation in Colorado, spoke about how the law can help trans people and families in states such as Texas, Florida, and Tennessee where they are being targeted. 

“One of the most common questions that I am asked by families, almost daily, is the question, ‘Am I safe? Where can I go? Is it time to leave?’ Colorado is often one of the places I point these families to.” 

In an email, Meredith Gleitz, Policy Manager at One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy organization dedicated to advancing equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Coloradans and their families, called the measure “critical” for transgender people to be able to fairly access what is often lifesaving health care. 

“Research shows that gender-affirming care improves mental health and overall well-being for transgender people, and is recognized and endorsed by 29 leading medical organizations. In spite of its medical necessity and health benefits, access to gender-affirming care is being politically targeted, to the detriment of providers and patients - and attacks are intensifying,” she said. 

“Colorado needs shield legislation to protect patients and providers from interstate political attacks and to prevent further obstacles to accessing critical health care."

While Colorado’s trans community celebrates the state's continued progress in the right direction, the community in Oregon is also praising HB2002, which seeks to create a universal health care system for all residents of the state. The law would establish a new system called “Oregon Health Care Program” and would require health care plans to cover transition-related care including hormone therapy and gender affirming surgeries.   

The bill was shaped after the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade last June. In response, House Speaker Dan Rayfield, D-Corvallis, formed a legislative workgroup last summer that worked for several months to develop HB2002. 

“The right to access an abortion does not mean that abortion is accessible,” Rayfield said. 

Last week transgender and gender nonconforming Oregon residents as well as allies gave testimonies during a hearing on the measure, including Dr. Christina Milano, a doctor who provides transgender care at Oregon Health & Science University. 

“I hear a panic that we are opening up the gates, allowing young patients to come in and cajoling them and pressuring them to start pubertal suppression and pursue surgical procedures,” she said, noting that her team always works with a team of providers that includes endocrinologists and psychologists.

“Our teams work with exquisite caution and thoughtfulness.”

The state's Medicaid program, known as The Oregon Health Plan, as well as private insurance companies have all been required to provide coverage for medical care for transgender Oregonians since 2015. This law would expand the list of covered treatments. 

Seth Johnstone, the Transgender Justice Program Manager at Basic Rights Oregon, a nonprofit that advocates for the rights of LGBTQ individuals in the state, says the bill will help ensure trans and gender-expansive Oregon residents have access to life saving treatment and gender affirming care. 

“This bill will advance the Oregon value that everyone should be free to be who they are, and that everyone should have affordable access to medical care. As over 300 anti-LGBTQ2SIA+ bills have been introduced in state legislatures across the country this year, we’re proud to see Oregon lawmakers not only protecting existing rights, but also working to expand access for our community,” he said. 

“This landmark legislation will protect, strengthen, and expand equitable access to all forms of reproductive and gender-affirming care, and is based on recommendations developed by the Reproductive Health and Access to Care Work Group in December 2022.”

Johnstone states that Oregon has demonstrated clear values regarding healthcare, particularly with regards to reproductive and transgender-related care, and the recommendations made by Rep. Rayfield’s work group was “an affirmation and continuation of those values.” 

“We believe every person in Oregon deserves access to high quality healthcare, no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they make.” 

Similarly, Illinois and California have also demonstrated their commitment to protections for the trans community.

In January, Illinois, led by out State Rep. Kelly Cassidy of Chicago, passed a bill to protect access to both reproductive healthcare and transgender healthcare. The bill, signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker, expands healthcare access and options in the state and protects healthcare providers and patients who travel to Illinois to access essential care now banned in their home states. 

"This comprehensive legislation is proof that Illinois does not and will not stand by as hard-fought freedoms of the people of this state are taken away,” Cassidy stated

“It is further proof that protecting reproductive rights and gender affirming healthcare is broadly supported, contrary to Republican-led efforts to strip away the protections we all rely on. By partnering with community stakeholders, organizations, and our government colleagues, we are setting the example for other states and their reproductive and healthcare policy in a post-Roe world."

New York’s Assembly Bill 709, sponsored by Democrat assembly member Nily Rozicis, is a proposed measure that seeks to improve the treatment of incarcerated individuals based on their gender. If passed, the law would require that individuals in state and local prisons who identify as a gender different from their assigned sex at birth be addressed and provided with items like clothes and toiletries that match their gender. The bill would also establish a presumption that these individuals should be placed in correctional facilities with others who share their self-attested gender identity, unless they choose otherwise. Overall, the law seeks to ensure that incarcerated individuals are treated with respect and dignity, regardless of their gender. 

Elsewhere, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed SB04 in the state which modifies a previous law from 1976 known as the The Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, expanding protections to LGBTQ Michigan residents. 

“No resident in Michigan should feel they have to hide their identity to ensure job security or successfully purchase a new home. This legislation protects individuals from harmful discrimination that has no place in our community,” said Michigan Senator Sue Shink (D-Northfield Twp) in a release. “I’m proud to be a part of a diverse body of legislators that understand discrimination based on sexual orientation, identity, or expression is an issue that needs to be prioritized and swiftly addressed.”

As states continue to shape legislation to protect the trans and gender nonconforming community, Minnesota is gearing up to add further protections for those living with HIV with SF3062, a bill that will appropriate ten million dollars set aside from the government’s general funds to help support community-based HIV/AIDS support services. 

The funds will be given to the commissioner of human resources who will then distribute it as grants to organizations that provide support services to people living with HIV or AIDS. The funding will be made available in the fiscal year 2024 and 2025. 

The bill has been referred to the Health and Human Services committee. 
With more than 480 anti-trans bills sweeping across the country, it’s crucial to remain vigilant about pro-trans legislation and ongoing efforts towards trans equality. While the fight for trans rights continues, it’s important to acknowledge states that are actively working to make a safe and inclusive home for trans and gender nonconforming people.

The following sites updated:




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This piece is written by Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix, Kat of Kat's Korner, Betty of Thomas Friedman is a Great Man, Mike of Mikey Likes It!, Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz, Ruth of Ruth's Report, Marcia of SICKOFITRADLZ, Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends, Ann of Ann's Mega Dub, Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Wally of The Daily Jot. Unless otherwise noted, we picked all highlights.  


"Where there is Glenneth, there is transphobia" -- most requested highlight by readers of this site.

Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY "Bigot Becky Barks" and "Crooked Clarence" went up last week.


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