The Virtual Pub Is Open

image of a pub Photoshopped to be named 'The Beloved Community Pub'
[Explanations: lol your fat. pathetic anger bread. hey your gay.]

Belly up to the bar,
and be in this space together.

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I Don't Even Know

This morning, Donald Trump selected Goldman Sachs President and COO Gary Cohn to be his National Economic Council Director.

This afternoon, Trump went to Louisiana for another Make America Cheer for Me Again rally, at which this happened:

Cohn is not even the first Goldman Sachs alum Trump has chosen. And yet his supporters are still chanting "Drain the Swamp." If that isn't an indication that there is no actual political ideology behind support for him, that he is truly nothing but the Daddy Figure of a deplorable identity movement who are drooling for the hardest, hottest culture war, I don't know what would be.

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Here We Are

[Content Note: Authoritarianism; abuse of power; threats and harassment.]

These are the first three pieces we published at Shareblue today:

1. Katie Paris: "Trump's Inaugural Committee succeeds in barring Women's March from Lincoln Memorial."

First reported by the Guardian: "[T]he National Park Service, on behalf of the Presidential Inauguration Committee, filed documents securing large swaths of the national mall and Pennsylvania Avenue, the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial for the inauguration festivities. None of these spots will be open for protesters."
2. Tommy Christopher: "Kellyanne Conway alarmingly advocates 'consequences' for criticizing Trump."
In yet another extraordinary pronouncement which has gone virtually unnoticed, senior adviser Kellyanne Conway lamented the fact that people like labor leader Chuck Jones think they can criticize President-elect Donald Trump without suffering consequences. Yes, she actually said "consequences": "People feel like with Donald Trump, they have license to say whatever the heck they want about this guy, with no consequences, with no blowback. The guy has a right to defend himself. And he rarely draws first blood. It's when he is attacked, he likes to set the record straight."
3. Me: "Defiant union leader is tired of Trump’s lies; will not be silenced."
As a result of Trump's reckless tweeting, prioritizing his own brittle ego over Jones' safety, Jones began receiving threatening phone calls.

...What Jones is facing is the inevitable result of the incoming Trump administration's chilling campaign to intimidate critics and dissenters: Tweeting about private individuals and reporters and groups and TV shows to whose commentary the president-elect objects; threatening selective retribution against companies; quashing protests; and the unconscionable public stance that criticizing the president should have consequences.
Trump is no longer a private citizen. He is the President-elect of the United States of America, which carries with it the enormous power of the office he will soon occupy.

He is no longer just a reality TV show star picking fights with other celebrities (which was bad enough). The personal power imbalance between the President and every other citizen is extreme, and, if not respected for its immense potential to harm when wielded capriciously, the consequence will be a breathtaking and unprecedented abuse of that power.

Against citizens of his own nation.
He hasn't even been inaugurated yet. This is not normal.

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Matilda the Fuzzy Sealpoint Cat lying in a chair, next to one of Iain's shirts
"This chair is mine. That shirt is mine. That charger will soon be mine, too."

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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How to Make an Anti-Feminist Piece Great for Once

[Content note: Misogyny, description of sexual assault, gaslighting.]

At The Washington Post*, Christina Hoff Sommers recently proposed a modest suggestion for how to improve feminism in light of the Election 2016 outcomeAs a practice, I no longer link to clickbait so as to not reward the model, so spoiler alert to her article: she concludes that US women have it good, therefore feminists should stop being hysterical harpies who write things in all-caps sometimes.

While we're speaking of typographical choices, it turns out that I, in turn, have a modest suggestion for how to improve her article.

The thing is, I fear that some have lost appropriate perspective about current state of affairs, or they did not have have it to begin with. I thusly support the development of, perhaps, a browser extension that could supply missing context to articles about Trump, as needed. Using Sommers' piece as an example, my proposed additions are italicized:

 "Hillary Clinton’s defeat, by Donald Trump, who has admitted on tape to grabbing women's genitals without consent, is wreaking havoc in the sisterhood. Celebrity feminists are especially distraught. 'Girls' star Lena Dunham developed hives and fled to Sedona for spiritual renewal. Katy Perry took to Twitter to declare 'THE REVOLUTION IS COMING.' For feminist icon Robin Morgan, the election of Donald Trump, who has admitted on tape to grabbing women's genitals without consent is proof that 'a diseased patriarchy is in a battle to the death with women.'
 But less-excitable analysts are drawing more sober conclusions about the Electoral College win of Donald Trump, who has admitted on tape to grabbing women's genitals without consent: Perhaps the women’s movement is too elitist and out of touch with ordinary citizens, especially working-class women. That seems right, but I would go one step further. Today’s feminism is not merely out of touch with everyday Americans, who voted for Donald Trump, who has admitted on tape to grabbing women's genitals; it’s out of touch with reality. To survive, it’s going to have to come back to planet Earth, the most powerful leader of which is soon to be Donald Trump, who has admitted on tape to grabbing women's genitals without consent.

First of all, it’s time to stop calling the United States, whose President will soon be Donald Trump, who has admitted on tape to grabbing women's genitals without consent, a patriarchy. A patriarchy is a system where men hold the power and women do not. In the United States, meanwhile, we will soon be governed by Donald Trump, who has admitted on tape to grabbing women's genitals without consent. Women do hold power in the United States — they lead major universities and giant corporations, write influential books, serve as state and federal judges and even manage winning presidential campaigns. American women, especially college-educated women, are the freest and most self-determining in human history. And still, millions of Americans voted for Donald Trump, who has admitted on tape to grabbing women's genitals without consent, over a qualified, competent woman who has not. Why pretend otherwise?
My inspiration for this piece was The Playlist's recent write-up of a Roman Polanski film, which I first saw highlighted in this tweet (content note: sexual assault), which makes a similar annotation with respect to his mentions.

With Trump specifically, I know Trump has said and done a number of deplorable things, so a multitude of variations could be developed here. More broadly, as we see these sorts of anti-feminist Election 2016 "feminists brought this upon themselves" response pieces circulating, I hereby move that it be accepted in our collective body of common sense that such pieces instantly lack credibility.

Donald Trump is the walking personification of how racism and misogyny often do not have negative consequences for white men. Not only was he not punished for his deplorable views, he has been rewarded for expressing them. Millions of people, at best, are indifferent to these views and, at worst, actively agree.

I cannot stress enough that the problem here is not that feminists care too much about women's bodily autonomy, it's that 60-odd million people care too little. If that's not enough to convince people that patriarchy is a thing in the United States, nothing ever will be, no matter how nicely we say it.

*Sommers' piece is entitled, "How to make feminism great again" (because of course it is).

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[Content Note: White supremacy.]

Perhaps you've heard the good news that white supremacists are boycotting the new Star Wars film, because they are anti-semitic, anti-Black, misogynist garbage heads, who don't like Jewish people making movies with non-white, non-male people and using art to make political statements.

(Like the controversial political statement that people who are non-white and non-male exist.)

This is the best news since misogynists boycotted Ghostbusters.

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Open Thread

image of a pink couch

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

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Question of the Day

Suggested by Shaker lupinella12: "Which actor/actress makes you immediately change the channel?"

LOL! I love this question.

Mel Gibson. Nope.

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Quote of the Day

"I'm telling you, there is no one, no one, no one better to have in your corner than Harry Reid."—Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, who will be replacing the retiring Harry Reid as Senate Minority Leader, at Reid's portrait unveiling and send-off party today.

Hillary Clinton also made an appearance at the event. I did not, regrettably, have time to watch it. But even hearing and reading about it, thinking about how Reid spent his whole career trying to make things better, only so Trump's collection of dipshits and miscreants can purposefully break it, nearly made me cry.

Every once in awhile, I had a disagreement with Harry Reid. But, even then, I was glad to have Harry Reid in my corner.

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I Mean


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An Observation

First, some background, which serves as preface to my observation:

And now my observation:

Mr. Cool Jobs Prez has absolutely zero compunction about messing with the market, specifically because it affects a company's bottom line. But when a company's bottom line is affected, the first people to get hit (after the stockholders) aren't the owners and executives: It's the employees, who become as expendable as possible to make up the loss in profits to the stockholders (which often include the owners and executives, and very occasionally some employees).

The "game" he's playing is risking people's jobs. And I'm really annoyed that virtually no one in the media is talking about that, even as they abet his lies about what an awesome, jobs-saving deal he made with Carrier.

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Olivia the White Farm Cat sitting right in front of me on the arm of a chair
Olivia is subtle when she wants something.

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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A Bit of Recommended Reading

[Content Note: White supremacy] Jennifer Palmieri at the Washington Post: "Our campaign lost the election. But Trump's team must own up to how he won."

Maggie Haberman and Jo Becker at the New York Times: "Donald Trump is said to intend to keep a stake in his business."

[CN: War on agency] Dianna E. Anderson at Shareblue: "Ohio state legislature is first to move on emboldened anti-choice agenda."

Katie Paris at Shareblue: "Democrats will not let Russian interference in our election stand."

Tommy Christopher and me at Shareblue: "Trump picks longtime EPA antagonist and climate change skeptic to lead EPA."

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TV Corner: This Is Us

promotional image for the NBC television show 'This Is Us,' featuring the primary cast

This Is Us aired its midseason finale on Tuesday night, so, as promised, here is a thread for discussion! I have MANY thoughts on MANY of the different threads of the show, and I know some of you do, too, so let's head to comments and have a chat about it!

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Open Thread

image of a yellow couch

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

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Question of the Day

Suggested by Shaker Heather T: "What is your opinion of snow? (Let the furore begin!)"

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Shaker Gourmet

Whatcha been cooking up in your kitchen lately, Shakers?

Share your favorite recipes, solicit good recipes, share recipes you've recently tried, want to try, are trying to perfect, whatever! Whether they're your own creation, or something you found elsewhere, share away.

Also welcome: Recipes you've seen recently that you'd love to try, but haven't yet!

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This Is So Bad

I've got a new piece at Shareblue, co-written with my colleague Matthew Chapman, about Speaker Paul Ryan being unintentionally honest about repealing Obamacare:

Ryan in particular seems to understand the tightrope his party is walking on healthcare reform. Yet in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Ryan made a promise to insured Americans that was highly revealing:
[C]learly there will be a transition and a bridge so that no one is left out in the cold, so that no one is worse off. The purpose here is to bring relief to people who are suffering from Obamacare so that they can get something better.
Ryan later clarified that he only meant no one would be "worse off" during the transition, and was making no promises about the replacement plan.

It is a promise he could not possibly make, given that he is well aware that there will be fewer people with healthcare access. Those people will certainly be "worse off."

But those people are not his primary concern. A careful reading of the above reveals who is: Ryan says "the purpose here is to bring relief to people who are suffering from Obamacare."

Who is suffering from Obamacare? Not the estimated 20 million people who are covered by it and have healthcare access as a result.
Spoiler alert: It's insurance companies. Head on over to read the whole thing.

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Sophie the Torbie Cat curled up next to a shelf with board games, including Talisman and Settlers of Catan, stored on it
Tiny little cat loaf next to nerdy games.

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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