Question of the Day

Suggested by Shaker lattendicht: "What's your preferred mode of transport?"

This is such a boring answer, but I like whatever mode of transport makes the most sense. When I have lived in a city, I preferred to walk when possible, or use public transportation when walking wasn't an option. When I have lived in the suburbs or exurbs, I preferred to use a car. When I travel long distances, I tend to prefer whatever gets me there fastest, whether it's a plane or a train or a boat or a car. Unless, of course, the whole point is, say, to do a road trip or see the countryside from the window of a train.

Really the only modes of transport I tend to avoid are ones that require physical exertion — bikes, scooters, skates, etc. — not because I don't love doing those things (I do!), but because my hypohidrosis makes them impossible for longer than a few minutes, except impractically slowly in very cool weather.

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Discussion Thread: Self-Care

What are you doing to do to take care of yourself today, or in the near future, as soon as you can?

If you are someone who has a hard time engaging in self-care, or figuring out easy, fast, and/or inexpensive ways to treat yourself, and you would like to solicit suggestions, please feel welcome. And, as always, no one should offer advice unless it is solicited.

* * *

I am going to watch reruns of The Good Place as soon as I have some free time, because that show just makes me ridiculously happy.

image of actors William Jackson Harper and Kristen Bell in character as Chidi and Eleanor; Bell has a big iguana sitting on her lap

This photo is currently the wallpaper on my phone, and it just makes me grin every time I look at it.

In related Good Place news, Mary Steenburgen talking about how much she loves her husband Ted Danson (who plays Michael) is probably the cutest thing you'll read all day, if you need to read cute things as part of your self-care.
Among the other qualities Steenburgen says she loves about Danson are that he's "a feminist," he's passionate about protecting the world's oceans, and that she misses him when he leaves the room — "I would literally sign up for 100 more lifetimes with him," she says.

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Today in Trump's Campaign of Stochastic Terrorism

[Content Note: Hate crimes; stochastic terrorism.]

Since the day he announced his candidacy for president, Donald Trump has been waging a campaign of stochastic terrorism, rhetorically putting targets on the backs of marginalized people and hoping that shamelessly violent wrecks among his cultists will do the rest.

Well, the results are in. And his campaign is working.

Devlin Barrett at the Washington Post: Hate Crimes Rose 17 Percent Last Year, According to New FBI Data.

Hate crimes in America rose 17 percent last year, the third consecutive year that such crimes increased, according to newly released FBI data that showed an even larger increase in anti-Semitic attacks.
That is, not coincidentally, the same three-year period in which Donald Trump has been a national candidate and then president, during which time he has repeatedly engaged in anti-Semitism.
Law enforcement agencies reported 7,175 hate crimes occurred in 2017, up from 6,121 in 2016. That increase was fueled in part by more police departments reporting hate crime data to the FBI, but overall there is still a large number of departments that report no hate crimes to the federal database.

The sharp increase in hate crimes in 2017 came even as overall violent crime in America fell slightly, by 0.2 percent, after increases in 2015 and 2016.
Note that Trump routinely asserts that violent crime is rising, as part of his campaign of stochastic terrorism. He lies about the prevalence of violent crime and scapegoats marginalized people — overtly accusing undocumented immigrants of being criminals and typically using dogwhistles about gun violence in Chicago, Philadelphia, etc. to accuse Black people of being criminals.
More than half of hate crimes, about 3 out of every 5, targeted a person's race or ethnicity, while about 1 out of 5 targeted their religion.

Of the more than 7,000 incidents reported last year, 2,013 targeted black Americans, while 938 targeted Jewish Americans. Incidents targeting people for their sexual orientation accounted for 1,130 hate crimes, according to the FBI.
It's important to note here that many undocumented immigrants do not report hate crimes, for fear of being deported. That fear has undoubtedly increased significantly since Trump has instituted his obscene nativist agenda.

It's also important to note that misogynist violence, including sexual assault, is rarely counted in hate crimes statistics — even though calls to the National Sexual Assault Hotline increased by 201% on the day of Christine Blasey Ford's testimony against Brett Kavanaugh alone.
Of the more than 7,000 hate crime incidents in 2017, more than 4,000 were crimes against people, ranging from threats and intimidation to assault, to murder. More than 3,000 were crimes against property, ranging from vandalism to robbery to arson.
As I have said many, many times now: Donald Trump didn't invent hatred and bigotry, but he has certainly done every goddamn thing he can to more deeply entrench them and empower their vile purveyors.

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Discussion Thread: How Are You?

I am tired. I can't remember ever being this tired in my entire life. I'm tired in every part of my body, including my brain. It's like an exhaustion I just can't quench.

I'm relieved that the midterms were not the worst, and I'm scared that it still won't matter.

I am very grateful for friends who make me laugh.

I am also, as always, glad for this community, particularly in this moment. Anyone who wants to join me in another enormous virtual group hug is welcome.

How are you?

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Olivia the White Farm Cat curled up on the couch, sound asleep
Sleepy little dumpling. ♥

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

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We Resist: Day 663

a black bar with the word RESIST in white text

One of the difficulties in resisting the Trump administration, the Republican Congressional majority, and Republican state legislatures (plus the occasional non-Republican who obliges us to resist their nonsense, too, like we don't have enough to worry about) is keeping on top of the sheer number of horrors, indignities, and normalization of the aggressively abnormal that they unleash every single day.

So here is a daily thread for all of us to share all the things that are going on, thus crowdsourcing a daily compendium of the onslaught of conservative erosion of our rights and our very democracy.

Stay engaged. Stay vigilant. Resist.

* * *

Earlier today by me: Midterm Elections: The Latest and Trump to Ask Kirstjen Nielsen to Pretend to Resign.

Here are some more things in the news today...

[Content Note: Wildfires; death and displacement] Dani Anguiano and Gabrielle Canon at the Guardian: California Wildfires: Camp Fire Becomes State's Deadliest with 42 People Killed.
The Camp Fire in northern California has killed 42 people, making it the deadliest in state history, authorities said.

The blaze is also the most destructive the state has ever seen, incinerating the town of Paradise and displacing more than 50,000 people as other blazes continued to rage farther south.

A total of 7,177 buildings have been destroyed, Cal Fire said. The fire grew to 183 sq miles Monday, and containment was up to 30%.

Two people have also died in the Woolsey Fire, a major blaze around Los Angeles.

On Monday officials said the Woolsey Fire had burned 91,572 acres and was 20% contained. "We are working all day and all night to increase and reinforce that containment," said the Los Angeles county fire chief, Daryl Osby. The fire had destroyed 370 structures, with 57,000 still at risk, Osby said.
My god. Some suggestions on ways to help can be found here.

Meanwhile, the president is spending his time dumping embarrassing tweetshitz, as usual. Zack Ford at ThinkProgress: Trump Mocks France for Being Invaded by the Nazis. "Trump unleashed a new round of Twitter rage Tuesday morning, this time aimed at French President Emmanuel Macron, whom he visited in Paris over Veterans' Day weekend. In one tweet, the president appears to mock France for having been invaded by Nazi Germany some 80 years ago. 'Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the U.S., China and Russia,' he wrote. 'But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two — How did that work out for France? They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along. Pay for NATO or not!'" JFC.

* * *

In good resistance news...

Pete Williams at NBC News: State of Maryland Asks Judge to Declare Rosenstein Acting Attorney General. "The state of Maryland plans to ask a federal judge on Tuesday for an order declaring that Rod Rosenstein is the acting attorney general — not Matt Whitaker, who was appointed to that position last week after the forced resignation of Jeff Sessions. ...Maryland's attorney general, Brian Frosh, a Democrat, argues in court documents to be filed Tuesday that if Trump had the kind of authority the White House claims, he could fire the attorney general 'then appoint a carefully selected senior employee who he was confident would terminate or otherwise severely limit the investigation.' Maryland argues that Whitaker's selection by Trump violated federal law and exceeded the appointment authority in the Constitution." Right on!

As you may recall, Jeff Sessions found himself at the blunt end of Trump's ire ever since he recused himself from the Russia investigation. So Trump is sure to be thrilled about this! Nicole Lafond at TPM: Whitaker Talking with Ethics Officials About Possible Recusal from Mueller Probe. "Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker is currently in conversation with ethics officials within the Justice Department about his possible recusal from oversight of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe, DOJ officials said Monday night, according to Politico. ...Top Democrats have called on Whitaker to recuse himself from overseeing the probe, citing Whitaker's past comments disparaging Mueller and the investigation." That would be hilarious if it weren't signaling the end of the U.S. democracy.

And in other legal challenges to Trump's authoritarianism...

Good. I hope they prevail (she says, internally rage-thrashing about Trump's stacking the courts care of Mitch McConnell's unethical fuckery and grieving what a short window there is before no decent person will ever prevail in the courts against Republicans for at least a generation, if not forever).

* * *

[CN: Nativism; gun violence] Yeganeh Torbati at Reuters: Fewer Foreign Students Coming to United States for Second Year in Row. "The number of international students entering U.S. colleges and universities has fallen for the second year in a row, a nonprofit group said on Tuesday, amid efforts by the Trump administration to tighten restrictions on foreigners studying in the United States. ...Several factors are driving the decrease. Visa and immigration policy changes by the Trump administration have deterred some international students from enrolling, college administrators and immigration analysts said. ...[H]eadlines about mass shootings also may have deterred some students, said Allan Goodman, president of IIE. 'Everything matters from safety, to cost, to perhaps perceptions of visa policy,' Goodman said."

[CN: Nativism; video may autoplay at link] Elise Foley at the Huffington Post: Trump Asylum Ban Will Extend to Thousands of Unaccompanied Immigrant Minors. "A controversial Trump administration policy suspending asylum for immigrants who cross the border illegally will also apply to kids and teenagers traveling to the United States without their parents, contradicting last week's comment by a high-level Trump official that it 'does not apply' to unaccompanied minors. 'This suspension does not apply to any unaccompanied alien children as defined in the [Immigration and Nationality Act],' a senior administration official told reporters Friday on a briefing call, which was jointly hosted by the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice. (To participate in the briefing, reporters had to agree to quote the officials without using their names.) DHS issued a press release, titled 'DHS Myth vs. Fact,' on Friday that stated the rule 'does not limit the rights of unaccompanied alien minors.' But unaccompanied minors are, in fact, affected by the policy change."

Not only are the Trump Regime a bunch of fucking liars, but they consistently try to justify their nationalist agenda by claiming to be protecting us from violent criminals and terrorists. The next time you hear that line of stinking horseshit, think of this...

[CN: Terrorism] Carol Rosenberg at McClatchy: Trump Closed an Office That Tracked Ex-Gitmo Inmates; Now We Don't Know Where Some Went. "The Trump administration closed a diplomatic office designed to keep track of released Guantánamo inmates and make sure they didn't return to their insurgencies. And now the U.S. government has lost track of several of them, including one who has returned to a terrorist-held part of Syria, a McClatchy investigation has found. ...An aide at the House Foreign Affairs Committee, who was allowed to brief McClatchy on condition of anonymity, called Syria 'the worst place for an angry [former detainee] to turn up.'"

* * *

[CN: Police brutality; racism; death; gun violence] Mark Guarino, Alex Horton, and Michael Brice-Saddler at the Washington Post: 'They Basically Saw a Black Man with a Gun': Police Kill Armed Guard While Responding to Call.
It began in a way gun advocates have suggested would curtail violence. A gun comes out. Shots are fired. A "good guy with a gun" steps in to help before police can respond.

The tidy theoretical doesn't account for the chaotic unknowns when police arrive and can't tell a "good guy" with a gun from a "bad guy" with a gun.

The theory turned to grim reality at Manny's Blue Room Bar in Robbins, Ill., outside Chicago early Sunday.

Police shot and killed the good guy. Jemel Roberson, 26, was working security.

"Everybody was screaming out, 'He was a security guard,' and they basically saw a black man with a gun and killed him," witness Adam Harris told WGN.
The tidy theoretical doesn't account for the chaotic unknowns. Yeah. "Chaotic unknowns" like deadly racism.

[CN: Death] Julian E. Barnes, Eric Schmitt, and David D. Kirkpatrick at the New York Times: 'Tell Your Boss': Recording Is Seen to Link Saudi Crown Prince More Strongly to Khashoggi Killing. "Shortly after the journalist Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated last month, a member of the kill team instructed a superior over the phone to 'tell your boss,' believed to be Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, that the operatives had carried out their mission... The recording, shared last month with the CIA director, Gina Haspel, is seen by intelligence officials as some of the strongest evidence linking Prince Mohammed to the killing of Mr. Khashoggi... While the prince was not mentioned by name, American intelligence officials believe 'your boss' was a reference to Prince Mohammed." Goddammit.

[CN: Misogyny] Lindsay Gibbs at ThinkProgress: Their College Told Them Running in Sports Bras Was 'Distracting' — Here's How They Fought Back.
A couple of weeks ago, members of the Women's Cross Country team at Rowan University were running grueling 5:30 mile repeats on the track, when the coach of the football team approached their coach and told them that they needed to cover up.

You see, some of the women on the team were practicing in sports bras, and apparently, that was distracting to the football players.

This did not sit well with the runners at all. On the ensuing Friday, there was a closed-door meeting at the Athletics Department to discuss the matter. The cross-country runners stood silently outside, as a way to show support for their coach, speaking on their behalf.

The Athletics Department's verdict just heaped further insult on the team.

Not only would the women not be allowed to practice solely in sports bras anymore, they were going to have to move their practices to the high-school track across the street so that their presence wouldn't upset the delicate balance of football practice, which takes place on the football field inside the track.

...Gina Capone, a junior who ran on the Cross Country team in 2017 and remains close with the current crop of runners, knew she had to do something. ...So last Thursday, after securing the permission of her former teammates — including sophomore Brianna De la Cruz and senior Hannah Vendetta — Capone penned a fiery article on The Odyssey, a self-publishing platform targeted at college students.

...In just four days, Capone's article has nearly 200,000 views, and the story has been covered everywhere from the New York Times to Sports Illustrated. It has been, in one word, 'overwhelming.'

It's also been effective, at least partially.
With everything else women have to deal with at this particular moment, I can't even fucking deal with the fact that women are having to deal with this retrofuck misogyny, too! FUCKING HELL. GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER, MEN. JESUS JONES.

* * *

And finally, I will end by saying (not for the first time and probably not the last) that I ♥ Rep. Elijah Cummings.

Nicole Lafond at TPM: Cummings Asks Colleagues, Incoming Dems to Ignore Anti-Pelosi Factions. "Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), a ranking member of the House Oversight Committee and an influential Democrat in the House, sent a letter to colleagues and the incoming class of House Democrats on Monday, urging them to keep House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in leadership and ignore the faction of members whispering about her ouster. 'For two years, (a small group of House Democrats) asserted that with Nancy Pelosi as our leader, Democrats could never win back the House,' he wrote... 'They claimed that these relentless Republican attacks made Leader Pelosi appear too divisive and they argued that she should step aside for the good of the party. But then last Tuesday happened. And the American people obliterated the theory that Nancy Pelosi could not lead House Democrats to victory.'" YES!!!

Cummings is a man who knows how to effectively resist. Damn!

What have you been reading that we need to resist today?

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#365feministselfie: Week 46

I am again participating in the #365feministselfie project, now in its fifth year, and promised a thread for others to share selfies and/or talk about the project, visibility generally, self-apprecation, and related topics. So here is a thread for Week 46!

A few of my selfies over the last week and a half:

image of me standing in a full-lenth mirror, with my hair down and contacts in, wearing a tan sweater, light blue jeans, and honey brown boots
A casual meeting-friends-on-a-Friday outfit.

image of my face in close-up with my hair down and contacts in, wearing light makeup
A lady of a certain age and no filter.

image of me from the shoulders up, wearing large black-framed glasses and a white top, with my hair down
Off to therapy and very happy about it!

image of me lying on the sofa, with my hair pulled back and wearing grey-framed glasses and a grey and blue top, with Sophie the Torbie Cat perched on my shoulder and Olivia the White Farm Cat sleeping atop a chair in the background
Sophie is such a little monster! (Olivia is photobombing without even trying, lol.)

image of me from the shoulders up, with my hair down and contacts in and makeup on, wearing a plaid blazer with a black lapel and a maroon shirt underneath
Ready for Iain's birthday dinner!

Please feel welcome and encouraged to share your own selfies in comments, or share your thoughts on the project, or solicit encouragement or advice, or do whatever else feels best for you to participate, if you are inclined to do so!

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Trump to Ask Kirstjen Nielsen to Pretend to Resign

We've been hearing for quite some time that Donald Trump would be orchestrating a "shake-up" in his administration after the midterms. Naturally, Jeff Sessions was first out the door — and it looks like Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is going to be next.

Nick Miroff, Josh Dawsey, and Philip Rucker at the Washington Post report:

[H]er departure from the administration is likely to occur in the coming weeks, if not sooner, according to five current and former White House officials.

Trump canceled a planned trip with Nielsen this week to visit U.S. troops at the border in South Texas and told aides over the weekend that he wants her out as soon as possible, these officials said. The president has grumbled for months about what he views as Nielsen's lackluster performance on immigration enforcement and is believed to be looking for a replacement who will implement his policy ideas with more alacrity.

The announcement could come as soon as this week, three of these officials said.

Trump has changed his mind on key personnel decisions before, and Chief of Staff John F. Kelly is fighting Nielsen's pending dismissal and attempting to postpone it, aides say. But Kelly's future in the administration also is shaky, according to three White House officials.
Probably the only reason Kelly is still there is because Trump can't figure out who to tell to fire him, since Kelly's his usual ax man.


Nielsen is reportedly "reluctant to leave the administration before reaching the one-year mark as secretary on Dec. 6," because it's really gonna fuck up her résumé to not have a full year at her job torturing families who come to our border seeking refuge from violence. My heart bleeds for her.

Obviously, I will not be sorry to see Nielsen go, since she's overseeing Trump's vile nativist agenda, and anyone who is willing to facilitate policy that includes tearing babies from their parents' arms to put them in cages is a wreck of a human being who belongs nowhere near the federal government.

But the reasons that Trump wants her gone are, of course, chilling: She's not malicious enough — and not loyal enough, either.
Trump has berated her during Cabinet meetings, belittled her to other White House staff, and tagged her months ago as a "Bushie," a reference to her previous service under President George W. Bush and meant to cast suspicion on her loyalty.

When Nielsen has tried to explain the laws and regulations that prevent the government from drastically curtailing immigration or closing the border with Mexico, as Trump has suggested, the president has grown impatient and frustrated, aides said.
With every passing round of exiles from the Trump White House, the Cabinet gets more extreme. No one with any decency, competence, patriotism, or independence wants to work for Donald Trump, and the leftovers he's pulling from the remaining dregs are increasingly terrifying.

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Midterm Elections: The Latest

The fight for the Arizona Senate seat abandoned by Jeff Flake continued until late yesterday, when Republican Martha McSally conceded the race to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, giving the Democrats another senate seat and Arizonans some Democratic representation in the Senate! Sinema is also the state's first female senator! WOOT!

Lauren Gambino at the Guardian reports:

At 7.41ET on Monday, six days after the polls closed and as votes were still being counted, the Associated Press declared that Sinema had beaten the U.S. congresswoman Martha McSally... The last time a Democrat was elected to an open senate seat in this conservative western state was 1976, the year Sinema was born.

"Arizonans had a choice between two very different ways forward: one focused on fear and party politics and one focused on Arizona and the issues that matter to everyday families," Sinema said in her victory speech in Scottsdale. "I am so honored that Arizonans chose our vision."
Meanwhile, in California: "Democrats have won two Republican-held California state Senate seats in the Central Valley, giving the party veto-proof supermajorities in both chambers of the Legislature. Vote totals updated since Election Day made winners Monday of Melissa Hurtado and Assemblywoman Anna Caballero." Right on!

In Florida, things continue to drag on endlessly, because Florida elections are a disgrace. Douglas Hanks, Martin Vassolo, and Alex Harris at the Miami Herald: Miami-Dade Is Halfway Through Its Recount; Broward Hasn't Started Yet.
The stark contrast in pace from Florida's two largest sources of ballots highlights the pressure facing Broward as it tries to meet a Thursday afternoon deadline to recount the more than 700,000 votes cast in the largely Democratic county.

As of noon Monday, Broward still had to calibrate its ballot-scanning machines and sort out the ballots needed to be counted, suggesting the actual recount may not start until later in the day or even Tuesday morning.

...When the recount order came from Tallahassee Saturday afternoon, Miami-Dade was able to start recounting within hours. Its nine high-speed ballot counting machines began processing ballots shortly before 6 p.m. Saturday, and have been running 24 hours since. Broward was still testing its machines and sorting out ballot pages through the weekend and Monday morning.

...If Broward were to start its recount at 5 p.m. Monday, it would need to count about 10,200 ballots per hour to meet the 3 p.m. Thursday deadline for counties to turn in their recount results. If the deadline is missed, the original results reported Saturday are what's counted.
Because fates forfend we just give Broward as much time as they need to complete the recount and ensure that the results are accurate!

And in a nightmare repeat of 2000, Dana Chisnell and Whitney Quesenbery at the Washington Post report that "a badly designed ballot might have swayed the election in Florida." Swell.

In Georgia, Stacey Abrams keeps fighting, because she is awesome. Tanya A. Christian at Essence reports:
Just a day after Brian Kemp called Stacey Abrams' attempt to count "all the votes" a "disgrace to democracy," the Abrams campaign filed a federal lawsuit on Sunday to delay vote certifications.

A successful lawsuit would mean that officials would have until Wednesday to tally vote totals, and could restore over 1,000 absentee ballots that were formerly rejected. Abrams believes that these could help to close the gap between her and her opponent.

According to CNN, Abrams' campaign manager, Lauren Groh-Wargo, spoke to reporters via a conference call on Sunday and said, "The race is not over." Adding "It's still too close to call. And we cannot have confidence in the secretary of state's numbers."
No, we cannot. And I am so glad that Abrams is fighting it to the bitter end. That is the very opposite of a "disgrace to democracy." The disgrace to democracy in Georgia is Brian Kemp.

On a final note, I'm hearing an awful lot of "Beto 2020!" stuff, and the longer Abrams fights, the more I wonder why it isn't "Abrams 2020!" that's dominating my social media. Because it damn well should be.

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Open Thread

Hosted by a turquoise sofa. Have a seat and chat.

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Question of the Day

Suggested by Shaker carovee: "Do you have a favorite ghost story/weird happening from your life?"

Not really. It's not that I don't have a favorite — I don't even have any good supernatural stories from my life at all!

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Monday Links!

This list o' links brought to you by ballpoint pens that sit in your hand comfortably.

Recommended Reading:

Rachel Leishman, Kate Gardener, Chelsea Steiner, and Princess Weekes at the Mary Sue: Remembering Stan Lee and All That He Gave Us

Kris Hayashi at the Transgender Law Center: [Content Note: Nativism] TLC Statement on Trump Asylum Proclamation: "Immoral and Illegal"

Nermeen Shaikh and Amy Goodman with Representative-elect Deb Haaland: [CN: Racism; misogyny; violence] Deb Haaland, One of Nation's First Native Congresswomen, Calls for Probe of Missing Indigenous Women

Yessenia Funes at Earther: Latinx Voters Overwhelmingly Support Climate Action, New Survey Finds

George Dvorsky at Gizmodo: New Study Details Toxic Particles Spewed by 3D Printers

Oliver Whitney with Andreja Pejić at Them: Andreja Pejić Talks Playing Lisbeth Salander's Cis Lesbian Lover in The Girl in the Spider's Web

Igor at OMG Blog: OMG, This Photographer Captures Dogs in Their Mid-Treat Panic

Leave your links and recommendations in comments. Self-promotion welcome and encouraged!

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image of thumbs up & thumbs down Shaker Thumbs

Shaker Thumbs is your opportunity to give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down to a product or service you have used and that you'd recommend to other Shakers or warn them away from.

Today, I'm going to give a big ol' thumbs-up to Ikea's Flimra glasses. We recently needed some new everyday glasses, and these were very affordable and very nice-looking. And after more than a month of use, I really love them and am super pleased with the purchase.

image of a set of large and a set of small Flimra glasses in my kitchen cupboard

Anyway! Give us your thumbs-up or thumbs-down in comments!

[Just to be abundantly clear, I am not affiliated in any way with companies or products recommended in this series, nor am I receiving any form of payment from them. Anything I share here is just because I like it!]

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2020, Because Electioneering Never Ends Now

There are still a number of important midterm races that have yet to be decided, but already the political press is ready for the 2020 presidential race to begin, because politics is a big game and it's just no fun for the pundits if there's not a horse race going on and nobody learned anything from 2016.

So, just in the last couple of hours, I've seen these eight items:

Matthew Choi at Politico: Biden Says It Would Be 'Too Early' to Announce a Presidential Run in January.

Sabrina Eaton at Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio Is Weighing a Presidential Run.

Staff at WTHR: Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz Possibly Considering Presidential Run.

[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] Staff at WIVB: Kirsten Gillibrand Considering Presidential Run in 2020.

Brett Samuels at the Hill: NY Governor Andrew Cuomo Non-Committal on 2020 Presidential Run: 'I'm Focused on the Governorship'.

Chris Cillizza and Harry Enten at CNN: Why Kamala Harris Is the New Democratic Frontrunner.

Chris Cillizza at CNN: Here's Why Hillary Clinton 4.0 Is a Terrible Idea.

Jake Flatley at WV Metro News: Ojeda Makes His Presidential Run Official with D.C. Announcement.

So, one state politician with zero chance has announced his candidacy, the political press continues to clamor for the same old politics which got us into this mess, and Chris Cillizza is still the biggest Hillary hater in punditry.

Meanwhile, here's something amusing I read over the weekend by Will Bunch: Can 'Minnesota Nice' Trump Manhattan Mean? The Case for Sen. Amy Klobuchar in 2020.

Now, you know how I feel about drafting campaigns (I HATE THEM), especially aimed at female candidates, but I will confess that for awhile I have been privately pitching to the other mods the same idea that Senator Klobuchar would be the strongest Democratic candidate, sheerly because of the stark juxtaposition she cuts against Donald Trump.

On October 7, I messaged the other mods:

The Democrats' best chance of winning in 2020, if there's any chance at all, is to just stand Amy Klobuchar on a debate stage and have her say, "Hi, I'm Amy Klobuchar, a nice and very normal lady from the Midwest. And I'm not Donald Trump."
I even made her first campaign poster, should she want to run!

image of Senator Amy Klobuchar smiling, to which I've added text reading: 'Hi, I'm Amy Klobuchar, a very nice, normal lady who is not Donald Trump.'

Senator Klobuchar has a lot of terrific qualities that would certainly make her an excellent president if she wanted the job, but the not being Donald Trump part would be a very fine place to start her campaign.

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Dudley the Greyhound standing in the backyard with his mouth open next to Zelda the Black and Tan Mutt, who seems to be making a face
Even Zelda is like, "Dude, your breath tho."

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

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We Resist: Day 662

a black bar with the word RESIST in white text

One of the difficulties in resisting the Trump administration, the Republican Congressional majority, and Republican state legislatures (plus the occasional non-Republican who obliges us to resist their nonsense, too, like we don't have enough to worry about) is keeping on top of the sheer number of horrors, indignities, and normalization of the aggressively abnormal that they unleash every single day.

So here is a daily thread for all of us to share all the things that are going on, thus crowdsourcing a daily compendium of the onslaught of conservative erosion of our rights and our very democracy.

Stay engaged. Stay vigilant. Resist.

* * *

Earlier today by me: Trump Is a Cruel, Traitorous Disgrace and Veterans' Day and California Wildfires: The Latest and How to Help.

Here are some more things in the news today...

[Content Note: Gun violence; misogyny; toxic masculinity] On Friday, I noted that Ian David Long, who opened fire in a bar in Thousand Oaks, California on Thursday, killing 12 people and injuring others before killing himself, had a history of misogynistic abuse. Since then, even more information has come out about Long and his abuse of women.

A second female coach "recalled him on Sunday as volatile and intimidating, and said that repeated complaints to school administrators about his behavior failed to prompt any discipline." Additionally, investigators are looking into the possibility that Long "believed his former girlfriend would be at the bar."

There were a lot of warning signs about this guy for many years. At every turn, authorities decided to ignore the people urgently raising flags, because they didn't want to ruin his life.

His life.

* * *

[CN: Gun violence; images of blood at link] In related news: Laurel Wamsley at NPR: After NRA Mocks Doctors, Physicians Reply: 'This Is Our Lane'.
A mocking tweet from the National Rifle Association has stirred many physicians to post on social media about their tragically frequent experiences treating patients in the aftermath of gun violence.

"Someone should tell self-important anti-gun doctors to stay in their lane," the NRA tweeted on Thursday. "Half of the articles in Annals of Internal Medicine are pushing for gun control. Most upsetting, however, the medical community seems to have consulted NO ONE but themselves."

The NRA was criticizing the American College of Physicians' (ACP) new position paper, in which the physicians' group outlines its public health approach to reducing deaths and injuries from firearms.

"We are not anti-gun: we are anti-bullet holes in our patients," Esther Choo, a doctor and professor of emergency medicine at Oregon Health & Science University, replied on Twitter. "Most upsetting, actually, is death and disability from gun violence that is unparalleled in the world."

The NRA posted its tweet just hours before a man shot and killed 12 people at a country music bar in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

"I would like to graciously extend the invitation to the author of this tweet and anyone else from the NRA to join me at the hospital the next time I care for a child who has been hurt or killed by a gun that wasn't safely stored or was an innocent bystander," tweeted Jeannie Moorjani, a pediatric doctor in Orlando.

More physicians weighed in, often using the hashtag #ThisIsOurLane.

"Do you have any idea how many bullets I pull out of corpses weekly? This isn't just my lane. It's my fucking highway," wrote forensic pathologist Judy Melinek, in a tweet that has gone viral.

A trauma surgeon in Utah tweeted a photo of his blue scrubs covered in blood. "Can't post a patient photo," he wrote, "so this is a selfie. This is what it looks like to #stayinmylane."
The Republican Party is a death cult, and the NRA is their primary sponsor.

* * *

[CN: Authoritarianism; video may autoplay at link] Cheyenne Haslett at ABC News: Trump, Without Evidence, Calls Florida Ballots 'Massively Infected,' Demands End to Recounts.
Donald Trump weighed in on the battle over counting ballots in Florida's Senate and governor's race Monday and, as he has done before, claimed without evidence that the integrity of the election had been compromised.

The president said the results from Election Night should be accepted and declared both Republican candidates should be declared the winners of their respective races.

He tweeted: "The Florida Election should be called in favor of Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis in that large numbers of new ballots showed up out of nowhere, and many ballots are missing or forged. An honest vote count is no longer possible-ballots massively infected. Must go with Election Night!"

The president's desire to use results from Election Night, which he tweeted on Veterans Day, would disenfranchise many votes that are counted after Election Day, including voters serving overseas in the military. Overseas and military ballots can arrive until Nov. 16 and will be counted, as long as they're postmarked on or before Election Day.

Additionally, there is no evidence that ballots "showed up out of nowhere," but rather ballots continued to be counted days after the election — largely mail-in, absentee, and provisional ballots in slow counties like Broward and Palm Beach, which lean Democrat. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has no open investigations into any claims of potential fraud, ABC News confirmed Sunday afternoon.
Disenfranchising servicemembers is quite a way to celebrate Veterans' Day.

Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Ronald J. Hansen at the Arizona Republic: Kyrsten Sinema Widens Lead Again over Martha McSally in Pivotal Day for Arizona's U.S. Senate Race. "Democrat Kyrsten Sinema widened her lead again over Republican Martha McSally on Sunday, a pivotal day in the U.S. Senate race as the number of uncounted ballots dwindled. Sinema expanded her lead to 32,292 votes — a 1.5 percentage-point lead — as of 6:20 p.m. Sunday, according to updated counts posted by the Arizona Secretary of State. Her campaign manager predicted her victory was inevitable. The lengthy vote-count process, which has continued long after the polls closed Nov. 6, is mostly due to the need to verify signatures for voters who vote by mail. The Arizona Republic estimates about 215,000 ballots remain to be counted statewide. To remain competitive, McSally needs to outperform all of her previous showings in Maricopa County, the state's most populous area and one that Sinema has dominated."

[CN: Racism; eliminationist imagery] Michael Brice-Saddler at the Washington Post: A Senator from Mississippi Joked About 'Public Hanging'; Her Black Opponent Called It 'Reprehensible'. "Drawing cheers from a gaggle of supporters, the line appeared to be a throwaway one. 'If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row,' Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss) is heard saying in a video posted to Twitter on Sunday morning. ...In a statement Sunday, [Democrat Mike Espy] called Hyde-Smith's comments 'reprehensible.' He added, 'They have no place in our political discourse, in Mississippi, or our country. We need leaders, not dividers, and her words show that she lacks the understanding and judgment to represent the people of our state.' In her own statement Sunday, Hyde-Smith [said]: 'In a comment on Nov. 2, I referred to accepting an invitation to a speaking engagement. In referencing the one who invited me, I used an exaggerated expression of regard, and any attempt to turn this into a negative connotation is ridiculous.'" WOW.

Kira Lerner at ThinkProgress: Trump Properties Made Millions off the Midterm Election. "Trump-owned and branded properties cashed in during the midterm elections, according to a CNN analysis which found that campaigns and outside groups spent at least $3.2 million at the hotels and resorts. The CNN analysis of Federal Election Commission data found that the Republican National Committee was the biggest customer, spending at least $1.2 million at Trump-branded properties since the beginning of 2017." How nice for him.

* * *

[CN: Nativism] Spencer Ackerman at the Daily Beast: ICE Is Imprisoning a Record 44,000 People. "The steep rise in detentions is 'indicative of the fact that the Trump administration has weaponized ICE into an entity that far exceeds the agency's original mandate and fits with the anti-immigrant actions of this administration,' Rep. Raul Grijalva, an Arizona Democrat, told The Daily Beast. 'With little accountability and oversight — and a long track record of abuse — I'm concerned that the vast majority of those in ICE custody include many innocent people who've done nothing wrong.' ...'From a moral perspective, 44,000 is an astonishing number of people to be separated from their families and communities and held within a system that DHS's own Inspector General has criticized for abusive conditions,' added the Detention Watch Network's Mary Small."

[CN: Misogyny] Jessica Glenza at the Guardian: Planned Parenthood's New President Warns of 'State of Emergency' for Women's Health.
Dr. Leana Wen takes over as president of Planned Parenthood — America's biggest, best-funded, and most vilified reproductive healthcare institution — at a time of unprecedented attacks on the organization's values and work.

Last week, Alabama voters passed a fetal rights law; the Trump administration finalized rules to allow employers to opt out of health insurance requirements to provide birth control; and liberal women collectively held their breath as one of their champions — 85-year-old supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, leader of the court's liberal wing — was hospitalized with three cracked ribs.

To all this, Wen's answer is to play offense.

"There is huge unmet need across our country, and it is our moral imperative to provide care for all those who need us," Wen said, with the torch-carrying conviction of an emergency room physician who has seen too much in too little time. "I plan to expand our services, and expand our reach."

..."There is no question we are in a state of emergency for women's health," said Wen. When a society "treats one type of healthcare differently than everyone else, that's when we get to where we are, which is the biggest healthcare crisis of our time."
[CN: Authoritarianism] Matt Shuham at TPM: Conway on Doctored Video White House Released: 'That's Not Altered; That's Sped Up'. "White House counselor Kellyanne Conway asserted Sunday that a 'sped-up' video is not the same as an 'altered' video, while defending the White House's use of an altered video of a hand motion made by CNN reporter Jim Acosta in order to justify suspending his press pass. 'That's not altered; that's sped up,' Conway told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace. 'They do it all the time in sports to see if there's actually a first down or a touchdown. So I have to disagree with the, I think, overwrought description of this video being doctored as if we put somebody else's arm in there,' she added."

Staff at the Daily Beast: North Korea 'Continuing Missile Program at 16 Secret Sites,' Satellite Images Show. "North Korea is carrying on with its ballistic missile program at 16 secret facilities, new satellite images have revealed, undermining [Donald] Trump's boasts that he persuaded the hermit kingdom to abandon its weapons production and work toward denuclearization. The images, reported by The New York Times, show North Korea is continuing to make improvements at more than a dozen launching sites. The development suggests North Korea's promise to shut down one major test site was an attempted deception. The secret missile bases were identified in a study to be published Monday by the Beyond Parallel program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank."

[CN: Homophobia] Andy Towle at Towleroad: Boston Gay Bars Receive Threatening Phone Calls. "At least two Boston gay bars received threatening phone calls around the same time on consecutive nights over the weekend, according to police. What the threats were was not disclosed. dbar in Dorchester received a threatening call on Friday night, and Alley Bar in downtown Boston received a similar call on Saturday. ...The Boston Globe reported on the threat to Alley Bar: 'Rocco LaMonica, the bar's manager on duty, said a doorman answered the bar's phone and heard the threats. LaMonica would not comment on what happened during the call but said it 'was threatening enough that we needed to call the police.' 'We're not going to stand back for anybody,' LaMonica said. 'You can't take a chance now.''"

Martin Rosenbaum at BBC News: Pseudonyms to Protect Authors of Controversial Articles. "Academics who are frightened to explore controversial topics, in case it provokes a backlash, will soon have a safer route to publish such work. An international group of university researchers is planning a new journal which will allow articles on sensitive debates to be written under pseudonyms. They feel free intellectual discussion on tough issues is being hampered by a culture of fear and self-censorship. The Journal of Controversial Ideas will be launched early next year." Yeah, this is going to be bad.

[CN: Rape culture; clergy sex abuse] David McFadden and David Crary at the AP: Bishops Will Delay Votes on Steps to Combat Sex Abuse Crisis. "In an abrupt change of plans, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops opened the group's national meeting Monday by announcing it will delay for at least several months any votes on proposed new steps to address the clergy sex abuse crisis that is rocking the church. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, of Galveston-Houston, said the delay was requested by the Vatican, which asked that the U.S. bishops wait until after a Vatican-convened global meeting on sex abuse in February." The literal opposite of urgency. Fucking disgusting.

What have you been reading that we need to resist today?

Open Wide...

California Wildfires: The Latest and How to Help

[Content Note: Wildfires; death and displacement.]

Dani Anguiano at the Guardian has the latest on the wildfires that continue to devastate California, as more than 8,000 fire crews battle the blazes on multiple fronts: 31 Dead and 150,000 Displaced as Blazes Scorch State.

The Camp Fire has become the most destructive wildfire in California history, incinerating the town of Paradise, in the northern part of the state. It is also among the deadliest, with at least 29 killed, and it has displaced more than 50,000 people.

Two people have also died in the Woolsey fire, a major blaze around Los Angeles, bringing the total to 31. Statewide, 150,000 are displaced as more than 8,000 fire crews battle fires that have scorched 400 sq miles. High winds and dry conditions threaten more areas through the rest of the week, fire officials warned.

Around Paradise, about 1,300 people have found refuge at evacuation shelters, according to a Cal Fire spokesman, Steve Kaufman, a total which includes several shelters in Butte county and some in Sutter, Glenn, and Plumas counties. But that's only a fraction of the total displaced from Paradise, Magalia, Concow, and other towns in the Sierra foothills.

Many converged on Chico, a city of about 90,000 just 20 minutes from Paradise. Hotels in Chico are at capacity with fire evacuees and some, but not all, shelters are full. Others stayed with friends and family or even in their cars, eager to remain close enough to return home at a moment’s notice, even though that could be months away.

A Walmart in Chico has become an unofficial refugee camp for those displaced by the blaze. On Sunday, more than a dozen tents lined an empty field next to the store, while the parking lot was filled day and night with trailers and cars stuffed with belongings — toys, pillows, and family photos.

...At this unofficial evacuation center, tales of generosity by those most affected emerged. Tammy Mezera and her friend Daryl Merritt spent three nights sleeping in a tent outside the store after the fire forced them to run for their lives. When they found out a neighbor, Matthew Flanagan, had slept under a taco truck, they gave him the extra space in their tent.

"It's like an instant family," Mezera said, petting her dog. "We're all taking care of each other."

The three made friends with strangers like Andrew Duran, who sleeps just outside their tent in a sleeping bag. And despite the darkness and loss, they showed endless generosity toward one another. Eating breakfast together on Sunday morning, they shared a few laughs, dancing to Bill Withers' "Lean on Me."

It's the kind of coming together the community will need, Mezera said, after more than 6,400 homes were lost.
I watched people in these communities pulling together on Twitter over the weekend, organizing help for each others' animals, offering refuge, and helping people locate loved ones. Seeing those tweets juxtaposed against the horrifying pictures of the smoke and flames broke my heart and moved me.

And I am indescribably angry that the president is being such a colossal jackass, as always.

If you are looking for ways to help, here are some good collections of suggestions:

Julia Jacobs at the New York Times: How to Help Those Affected by the California Fires.

Michael Rios and Jessica Yarvin at PBS: How to Help the Victims of the California Wildfires.

Alanna Greco at Cosmo: Here's How to Help Victims of the California Wildfires.

Please feel welcome and encouraged to suggest other ways to help in comments. Let's keep this an image-free thread. Thanks.

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Veterans' Day

image of three US veterans: a Latina woman, a Latino man, and a black man

Today is Veterans' Day in the US. (Technically, it was yesterday, but it's being observed today this year.)

Thank you to all the women and men who have served this country with decency in a military capacity, who have been willing to risk their lives to defend its sovereignty, resources, and people.

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Trump Is a Cruel, Traitorous Disgrace

Donald Trump was in Europe the past couple of days, behaving like an absolute nightmare, the puppet of Vladimir Putin that he has always claimed not to be.

With Trump standing nearby, French President Emmanuel Macron gave an Armistice Day speech about the threat of rising nationalism that would have shamed Trump, if he had any shame. Back home, Democrats who are now empowered to investigate Trump took notice, e.g. Rep. Adam Schiff.

Meanwhile, Trump was multitasking as a despicable shit to his people back home, tweeting out blame at forest management for the devastating forest fires, which have claimed dozens of lives.

And now that he's home, he's back on Twitter, ranting about how our European allies are unfair to the United States.

I don't know what there is to be said that hasn't already been said a thousand times before. Donald Trump is a cruel, traitorous disgrace.

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Open Thread

image of a purple sofa

Hosted by a purple sofa. Have a seat and chat.

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