Lock her up? Now it’s Dianne Feinstein instead of Clinton
By JILL COLVIN and ZEKE MILLER
Wednesday, October 10
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Chants of “Lock her up!” rang once again throughout an Iowa arena as President Donald Trump rallied supporters Tuesday night.
But this time, the staple of Trump’s 2016 campaign against Democrat Hillary Clinton had a new target: California Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
Trump, who was in the state boosting Republican candidates ahead of the Nov. 6 midterm elections, claimed that Feinstein, the ranking Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, had leaked a letter written by California professor Christine Blasey Ford alleging Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers.
Feinstein has denied her office was the source of the leak.
“Can you believe that?” Trump said, as his supporters turned the chant once deployed against the former secretary of state on another Democratic woman.
“Did she leak that? 100 percent,” Trump said, adding, “I don’t want to get sued, so 99 percent.”
In a statement, Feinstein called Trump’s remarks “ridiculous and an embarrassment.”
Ford had sought to remain anonymous when she brought the allegation against Kavanaugh to Feinstein’s attention. She later went public after reporters started trying to contact her. Kavanaugh staunchly denied Ford’s accusation.
“Dr. Blasey Ford knows I kept her confidence, she and her lawyers said so repeatedly,” Feinstein said. “Republican senators admit it. Even the reporter who broke the story said it wasn’t me or my staff.”
The rally in Council Bluffs, across the Missouri River from Omaha, Nebraska, was Trump’s latest stop on a busy tour campaigning for Republican candidates in the lead-up to midterms that will determine control of Congress. And it comes as the president is on a high wave following a series of wins, including Kavanaugh’s confirmation. It’s the second appointment Trump has made to the Supreme Court.
Indeed, Trump’s loudest applause came as he continued his victory lap, which has included bashing Democrats for attempting to sink the nomination. Trump and other GOP leaders say the effort energized Republican voters, who had long been considered less energized than Democrats.
“This is truly an historic week for America,” said Trump, praising Republican senators for standing up to what he called “the Democrats’ shameful campaign of political and personal destruction” against his nominee.
“They wanted to destroy that man,” Trump said. “What the Democrats did to Brett and his family is a national embarrassment, a national disgrace.”
Trump also rolled out new fuel standards that will be a boon for Iowa and other farm states that have pushed for greater ethanol sales. The long-expected change will lift the federal ban on summer sales of gasoline with high-ethanol blends and allow them year-round. The EPA currently bans the high-ethanol blend, called E15, during the summer because of concerns that it contributes to smog on hot days. Ethanol industry advocates say that fear is unfounded.
Speaking to a crowd of thousands, Trump said he was delivering a promise he’d made to Iowa voters years ago when he campaigned ahead of the state’s caucuses.
“Promises made, promises kept,” he said. He charged without offering evidence that if Democrats take control of Congress next month, they will seek to roll back his efforts.
The move was also seen as a reward for Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman who led Kavanaugh’s contentious but successful confirmation fight. Trump praised Grassley on Tuesday night as a “tough cookie” as he applauded local leaders including Iowa’s Republican Rep. David Young and Gov. Kim Reynolds, who face tough re-election fights.
Trump also boosted Nebraska Rep. Don Bacon and Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, who face voters next month. The pair received loud applause from the heavily Nebraskan crowd.
Early voting in Iowa began on Monday, and Trump urged those gathered to cast their ballots now. “Go! Just vote. Get it over with,” he urged.
Early voting accounted for 41 percent of the Iowa vote in 2016, according to the White House.
Miller reported from Washington.
The GOP’s Kavanaugh Playbook Was Textbook Abusive Behavior
Psychologists call it DARVO: deny, attack, reverse victim and offender.
By Anny Martinez | October 10, 2018
Shortly before he became a Supreme Court justice, Brett Kavanaugh made two things clear: He likes beer. And he’s a self-righteous beneficiary of presumption of innocence.
Indeed, Kavanaugh was provided a considerable benefit of the doubt for a man credibly accused of a horrible crime. In an ordinary job interview, much less one for a lifetime appointment to Supreme Court, most people couldn’t count on the same.
Kavanaugh defenders said a lot about the presumption of innocence. But in truth they were following a much more menacing playbook, common to many abusers called out for their behavior.
Psychologists call it DARVO: deny, attack, reverse victim and offender.
Fielding questions from reporters the other day, President Trump said this: “It’s a very scary time for young men in America.”
And it certainly should be, for young and old men alike that have taken advantage of or degraded women who are now having their moment and speaking out. Trump painted these people as victims, not offenders.
This tactic was also used by Senator Lindsey Graham, who compared what Judge Kavanaugh was experiencing to “hell” and vilified Democrats for giving voice to his accusers.
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s credible (and polygraphed, might I add) account and moving testimony through hours of questioning was recognized by both Democratic and Republican senators.
That questioning was presided over by Rachel Mitchell, a prosecutor hired to represent Republican senators on the committee, none of whom are women. Mitchell delicately handled Dr. Blasey Ford’s testimony for these Republican senators — who then roared back into action when Judge Kavanaugh took the seat.
That’s when these senators asked their own questions and used the hearing to defend their nominee. Unlike Trump, most tried not to attack Dr. Blasey Ford directly. But they were unmistakably painting Kavanaugh as the victim.
Mitchell’s hiring demonstrated that these senators remain badly out of touch with how to engage with allegations of sexual assault. They hired a female prosecutor to avoid accountability, not to engage the accusations seriously.
Dr. Blasey-Ford had zero to gain and has already sacrificed so much. “I’ve had to relive this trauma in front of the whole world,” she lamented.
Yet Republicans still treated her little better than Anita Hill. “Are you a scorned woman?” Senator Howell Heflin infamously demanded of Hill. Then as now, they showed the same clear disdain the GOP has for an empowered woman who knows she has the same rights as a man.
Kavanaugh has been confirmed, but Blasey Ford’s testimony wasn’t in vain. Her courageous and credible account has helped millions of Americans confront the reality of sexual misconduct — and how far we still must go in the way these cases are handled.
More women are standing up, and more men are standing with them. Fourteen men were arrested in one recent protest against Kavanaugh’s confirmation, alongside many women.
One of those male protestors, a hip hop artist named Mysonne General, said this: “By standing for women, we have to acknowledge there is a culture of sexual violence, a culture men have benefited from, and in order for it to change men have to change it.”
A few old politicians are still relying on DARVO. They’re trying to take sexual misconduct and violence towards women off the table as a political issue. In addition to exonerating powerful men, they’re protecting rape culture.
But outraged women are mobilized. And more than ever are running for office. Candidates like Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Nika Edgardo, and Representative Ilhan Omar, to name a few, are showing that uncompromising women can run — and they can win.
Anny Martinez directs the Jamaica Plain Forum for the Institute for Policy Studies office in Boston. Distributed by OtherWords.org.
Voting Matters, But Staying Engaged Matters More
Real change means staying active long after Election Day.
By Jill Richardson | October 10, 2018
After Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed, my Facebook feed filled up with people telling one another to vote in the midterms. “If you don’t like what’s happening in America, vote!” they said.
And yes, I’ll vote. I always vote. As a believer in democracy, I’m in favor of everyone voting. And if the Democrats take either house of Congress, there will be real change — to a point.
However, there are larger changes that voting won’t bring. Not this time, anyway.
For left-leaning Americans, voting for Democrats has its limits. Here are some of them.
First, most of the Democratic Party leadership is beholden to their wealthy donor base. They love to talk a good game about LGBTQ rights or reproductive rights, issues that are progressive but don’t ruffle the feathers of the billionaires they rely on for support.
They’ll support some degree of social safety net. Between Democrats and Republicans, Democrats are certainly more in favor of policies that help the middle class or the poor than Republicans. But their support has its limits.
Republicans will do things like vote to strip people of food stamps. Democrats won’t do that — but in recent history they haven’t proposed any policies that actually change the income distribution in the U.S. in any significant way.
The wealthiest 1 percent of Americans own 40 percent of America’s wealth. That’s more than the wealth of the bottom 90 percent combined. Tinkering with the marginal tax rate or improving the school lunch program can help, but they won’t fundamentally alter the inequality in our nation.
Second, the reduction of “pork barrel” spending in Congress limits ability for compromise. In the past, reluctant members of Congress could be brought around to vote on something they weren’t thrilled about with “earmarked” funding for something like a new bridge in their district.
In the last decade or two, these so-called earmarks were targeted as wasteful at best and corrupt at worst, and they’re no longer used as often to facilitate compromises.
Third, Republicans in particular view compromise as a bad thing these days. In the past, compromise was how Washington did business. Now, particularly on the far right, compromising is seen as lack of commitment to one’s values.
A Republican who works across the aisle must fear a primary challenge from the far right. Compromising can lead to losing one’s job. This drives polarization.
Until recently, Democrats haven’t feared primary challenges from their left flank — more often, they fear being seen as too left-leaning. Perhaps that’s because there’s a far right donor base eager to fund right-wing primary challenges against Republicans who appear too moderate, but the Democrats’ largest donors push them away from the far left, not towards it.
The recent victories of democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others suggest this may be changing, but that change is still in its early phases.
In any case, electing a Democratic majority in one or both houses of Congress will put a halt on some of the most right-wing policies coming down from the Trump administration and Republican Congress. It would be a moderating influence on our government.
However, for Americans who want to see significant change to combat the climate crisis, promote racial justice, and reduce economic inequality, simply voting won’t be enough.
Don’t get me wrong: I’ll still be voting in November. But real change means staying engaged long after Election Day — as intensely after the 2018 midterms as many stayed engaged after 2016. It means keeping up on the issues, building movements, and holding politicians of all parties accountable.
OtherWords columnist Jill Richardson is pursuing a PhD in sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She lives in San Diego. Distributed by OtherWords.org.
Physical therapy important for women treated for breast cancer
October 10, 2018
Mary Insana Fisher
Associate Professor of Physical Therapy, University of Dayton
Mary Insana Fisher receives funding from the University of Dayton and the American Physical Therapy Association for research. She is affiliated with the American Physical Therapy Association.
University Of Dayton provides funding as a member of The Conversation US.
The survival rate for breast cancer, the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women, is now about 90 percent, increased by nearly 20 percent since the 1970s.
With more women than ever – nearly 3 million – living beyond a breast cancer diagnosis, it’s important to consider how a woman lives after treatment. While many women with cancer are grateful to move on after treatment, the harsh treatments can cause problems for daily activities. These side effects persist or develop many years after diagnosis. Women need to be aware of these effects to watch out for them and get care before they become a problem.
Typically, women with breast cancer undergo some level of surgery. The least invasive is a lumpectomy, wherein only the tumor is removed and much of the breast tissue can be conserved. The second most invasive is a mastectomy, which involves the removal of all of the breast tissue. Typically, the most invasive of all is removal of lymph nodes in the armpit region, or something called a axillary lymph node dissection, on the side of the cancer.
These surgeries are often followed by intense chemotherapy and radiation therapy treatments. The results and side effects of the surgery and treatments can harm overall function and ultimately quality of life.
As a physical therapist and researcher, I have studied the effects of cancer and its treatments on daily function – especially arm use in women with breast cancer – for over a decade. The good news is that physical therapy can help women recover and return to full activity after cancer treatments.
Arms that won’t stop hurting
Surgical removal of lymph nodes places women at risk for a chronic condition that causes swelling, typically in the arms or legs, called lymphedema, which affects anywhere from 10 percent to 30 percent of women, depending on the type of surgery and radiation treatment received.
Chemotherapies, especially a class of drugs called taxanes, often result in damage to the nerves in the hands and feet, or what is called peripheral neuropathies, or damage to peripheral nerves. This affects the balance – or vestibular – system and fine motor control, such as the ability to hold a pen or type on a computer. Impaired balance places people at risk for falls, a major cause of disability and death in people 65 and older. Taxanes and another type of drugs called anthracyclines can damage the heart, sometimes resulting in heart failure.
The amount of radiation that women receive during radiation therapy is less than for women treated years ago but still remains problematic. While radiation is often lifesaving, it comes with serious side effects that can persist for years after treatment. The tissues in the radiation field, or the area exposed to radiation, become stiffer and more fibrotic, or thickened, over time. This includes all tissues in the field, which sometimes includes the heart, in addition to the muscles and ligaments in the chest.
As tissues stiffen, women can experience a loss of motion, which can limit their ability to participate in sports, complete work or household chores and even their abilities to shower and dress. It can affect what may seem like simple things, such as fitting into a long-sleeved blouse or blazer.
Removing large numbers of lymph nodes, having more invasive surgery, and being overweight or obese places women at risk for more late effects such as lymphedema The problem with these risk factors is that there is no magic number: no magic number of lymph nodes, no magic weight. And, not everyone who has aggressive surgery ends up developing lymphedema. Also, even women who undergo the least invasive surgery, or lumpectomy, still can experience lymphedema.
New treatments and approaches emerging
Many of these side effects can either be prevented or managed effectively, but only if they are addressed in a timely fashion. One model of care, with substantial evidence of effectiveness, is the Prospective Surveillance Model. This method advocates for baseline testing prior to cancer surgery, followed by interval surveillance after the surgical and medical treatments take place. By completing baseline testing, any deficits that might hinder effective medical treatment – such as being able to assume the position necessary for radiation – can be addressed prior to cancer treatment.
And the measures taken at this visit become the benchmark that aftercare visits are measured against. While this is not the standard of care yet, many of us in the physical therapy profession who work with breast cancer survivors hope that it one day will be. Just as people see a dentist twice a year for preventative checkups, those with breast cancer would attend periodic checkups by a physical therapist after treatment to ensure healing is not sidelined. Following individuals in a scheduled periodic fashion after surgery and medical treatments allows for early detection of problems so that intervention can address these little problems before they become big problems.
One example is the development of lymphedema. In a study of 196 women with a diagnosis of breast cancer, women with a 3 percent difference in size of the arm from baseline were provided with a compression garment and taught self-management and massage of the limb. Early intervention reversed the development of lymphedema, and these gains were maintained even four to five months after intervention.
While the ideal practice model is addressing issues before they arise, many women are treated in systems without this model and are instead treated after surgery, radiation or chemotherapy treatment.
Physical therapists also play an important role treating side effects that arise after treatment. Physical therapists are movement experts, and are well-qualified to treat deficits in strength, motion and balance.
This includes restoring function after breast cancer treatment. Multiple studies have investigated the safety of physical activity after breast cancer treatment and found there is minimal risk for the development of lymphedema with most exercise.
In a large trial 154 women at risk for lymphedema participated in a progressive strengthening exercise program with no top limit to the amount of weight lifted. Women who participated in the weight lifting exercise developed lymphedema at lower rates that the no exercise population did. In a small pilot study examining the impact of yoga on arm volume in women with lymphedema, all participants saw a decline in arm volume after an eight-week program.
Physical therapists also play an important role in treating lymphedema. Many physical therapists have specialized training in lymphedema management and are certified lymphedema therapists. These specialized practitioners utilize a massage specific to lymphedema, compression bandages and garments, and exercise, to treat the lymphedema.
With 2.8 million women living beyond a cancer diagnosis in the United States, returning to previous activity levels is important. Early intervention and ongoing surveillance promoted by the Prospective Surveillance Model ensures that these women can get back to what is important to them — living.