At a time when the United States is in the grip of an opioid epidemic, many insurers are limiting access to pain medications that carry a lower risk of addiction or dependence, even as they provide comparatively easy access to generic opioid medications. The reason, experts say: Opioid drugs are generally cheap while safer alternatives are…
Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger has become something of a persona non grata within the GOP following his vote to impeach former President Donald Trump for the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. While Kinzinger hasn't shied away from speaking out against Trump and the far-right wing of his party, his fellow representatives have — and Kinzinger says he knows why: They are scared.
"The only thing that can happen is you lose, and you'll be replaced by somebody like a Marjorie Taylor Greene. And that's how these people [in Congress] convince themselves, 'Hey, the best thing I can do is go limp,'" the congressman said in an interview with Heard on the Hill on Tuesday.
For Kinzinger, his battle is not only for the soul of the Republican Party but for a democracy "under siege" and the future of the country as a whole. Yet, he says, it feels like he is fighting it virtually by himself.
"There are moments where I wake up and I'm like, why? Why am I the only one, am I doing something wrong?" he explained in the interview. Of course, he is not the only one, but he is certainly the loudest.
Nine other Republicans voted to impeach Trump for "incitement of insurrection." They instantly became the victim of the former president's – and his supporters' –wrath. Rep. Cheney lost her position as House GOP conference chair earlier this year, Rep. Anthony Gonzalez announced he would not be running for re-election following his current term due to the "toxic dynamics" in the party, and more generally, Trump's condemnation of the group has been persistent and targeted since the vote.
Despite the backlash, Kinzinger sees the need for a more concerted effort within the party to do the right thing.
"It's not the 10 of us who are going to save this democracy," he said. "It's the 190 who finally get fed up enough to say something."
His exhaustion, however, doesn't stem from his fights in Congress over issues like debt ceiling, or even from answering questions about his convictions, but rather from the beliefs of the far-right wing of his party.
"What I get tired of is watching every day a man — who if he's not close to insane, he sure knows how to play being insane — convincing people that truth doesn't matter," he said. "And then watching good friends who are military officers, college educated, spouting vaccine disinformation because it's a tattoo of their politics."
When Illinois pastor Joseph M. Krol realized that police were knocking on his door, he grabbed his phone and deleted Snapchat messages he'd exchanged with a 15-year-old girl, according to police.
Krol even performed a factory reset on his phone, the Herald & Review reports, but it would prove to be too late.
The girl's family had already turned over her phone to authorities, allowing police to take over her Snapchat account and converse with Krol.
Krol, the 36-year-old pastor of Rochester First Baptist Church, was arrested last Friday and charged with grooming a minor.
"Prior to answering the door, (Krol) is seen grabbing his cell phone and manipulating the buttons while standing in the kitchen area," Sgt. Roger Pope of the Macon County Sheriff's Office told the Herald & Review. "Deputies immediately located his phone, but (he) had factory reset the phone in an attempt to wipe all of the data."
"(She) allowed me to take over her Snapchat account and act as her while conversing with Krol," Pope wrote in an affidavit. "During our conversations, Krol requested photos of (the girl) in her underwear. Unsolicited, he sent her Snapchat a video (showing the outline of his genitalia). He also asked her sexually explicit questions about ... her fantasies to include her interest in older men."
Leaders at Galilee Baptist Church, which Krol pastored until June 2021, issued a statement saying they were "saddened" to learn of the charges against him, according to the Christian Post.
"We as a church take these allegations seriously and will cooperate with law enforcement in any investigation," the church leaders said. "We are eager to minister to all involved in this situation and will be offering professional counseling services to the victim of the alleged incident. ... We are praying for all involved."
Since Meghan McCain left her co-hosting duties at "The View" this past summer, we all knew this day was coming: the announcement of a tell-all audio book, with its first excerpt dropping Tuesday in Variety. In the excerpt, McCain's lack of self-awareness and self-victimization remain as intense and fresh as ever, as she opens by subjecting readers to her latest round of white tears.
McCain launches into petty rants about how rude and terrible everyone at "The View" was to her, at no point considering the angle that having horrible views necessarily invites people to not like you. It's really not complicated, although McCain tries to make it so by invoking her experiences with postpartum anxiety and mental health struggles.
Shortly after McCain returned to "The View" from maternity leave, co-host Joy Behar said she hadn't missed McCain at all and later declined to apologize. After that, McCain claims she wept and "no longer felt safe working at 'The View.'"
Want a daily wrap-up of all the news and commentary Salon has to offer? Subscribe to our morning newsletter, Crash Course.
She says, "It was a perfect storm of hormones, postpartum anxiety and a lot of demons on 'The View' coming out to bite me."
McCain probably intended to make her postpartum mental health struggles the focus of this excerpt of her book. But it comes out instead as a self-pitying rant about being bullied for being conservative, and utilizes the same sort of targeted, bad-faith gossip that she claims to condemn throughout the excerpt.
We can all sympathize with McCain's postpartum struggles, and appreciate her newly declared, common sense support for paid family leave for all people. But this is still the same Meghan McCain who's said and done all of the things she's said and done, like her out-of-touch attacks on NBA players who spoke out against police violence, or, of course, her obsession with spreading dangerous, anti-abortion misinformation, equating abortion care with infanticide.
Who can forget when McCain's co-host Sunny Hostin spoke in support of abortion later in pregnancy, a common medical procedure that can sometimes arise out of extreme health circumstances, McCain accused her of supporting "infanticide" and babies "born from a botched abortion should be put down like a dog or a cat?!"
Despite McCain's quickness to make herself the victim-hero of her own narrative, we can't forget she remains a wealthy, white woman who's spoken out against abortion and the full spectrum of reproductive care time and again. To her credit, McCain acknowledges her privilege, and that she can't "imagine what it's like for women who are less privileged than I am, women who work minimum wage jobs, and single mothers struggling to make ends meet," who may struggle with postpartum mental health issues.
But that appears to be mere lip service. She doesn't at any point consider how the need for universally accessible postpartum care is inextricable from the need for full-spectrum reproductive care that includes abortion and birth control. Specifically, research has shown that in states that enact more restrictions on abortion, often resulting in shutdowns or defunding of reproductive health clinics, maternal and infant mortality rates are disproportionately higher.
The United States as a whole has the highest maternal mortality rates in the industrialized world, a first place finish that is hardly ever acknowledged. And of course, Black women and other women of color are significantly more vulnerable than white women.
McCain's attacks on abortion and other pregnancy-related health care options are inseparable from a greater culture and political landscape that dehumanizes pregnant people, takes away their options, and subjects them to threats to their physical or mental health and safety. Her penchant for racist ignorance — at varying points writing off conversations about inclusivity and Asian communities as "identity politics," and earlier this year blaming Black Lives Matter protesters for the Jan. 6 insurrection — is also inseparable from conversations about how we treat pregnancy in America.
Because of systemic racism, women of color are more likely to be the "women who work minimum wage jobs, and single mothers struggling to make ends meet," whom McCain briefly references in her book. They're more likely to struggle with postpartum mental health challenges, those same issues that McCain has experienced – with the added dimensions of experiencing economic insecurity and lack of access to essential postpartum health care, possibly as a result of policies that defund or create barriers to this care, which McCain has consistently supported.
At the end of the day, we can be appreciative of McCain sharing her personal experiences with postpartum anxiety and her support for paid family leave. But we can't take her book, and its relentless self-pitying about being a rich, white conservative woman who wants to advocate for marginalized people losing their rights, all while no one can be rude to her, at face value.
For all her personal struggles, McCain has been a part of the very problems she complains about by opposing full-spectrum pregnancy and reproductive care, frequently parroting racist talking points, and falling back on white tears whenever she's challenged about it. If you want to lift up the voices of real advocates for pregnant people and new parents, there are plenty of other, more consistent and intersectional voices we should all be listening to instead.
Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Raw Story Investigates and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.
$95 / year — Just $7.91/month
I want to Support More
$14.99 per month