The Virtual Pub Is Open

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

TFIF, Shakers!

Belly up to the bar,
and name your poison!

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

Travis: "Flowers in the Window"

This week's TMNS has been brought to you by Scottish bands.

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The Friday Blogaround

This blogaround brought to you by hazelnuts.

Recommended Reading:

Angry Asian Man: Help Defend Asian American Voting Rights on Election Day

Sasha: Clinton Drops Another Trump Burn After Night of Jokes

Jorge: Hillary Went Out and Partied with Latinx Voters After Crushing Trump in Vegas Debate

Keith: [CN: Sexual violence] Jurors Pose for Photos with Derrick Rose Following Conclusion of Rape Trial

Andy: [CN: Transphobia] Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Rebrands Anti-LGBT Bathroom Bill as 'Women's Privacy Act'

Charline: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Talks Empowerment Through Cosmetics as Face of a New Makeup Campaign

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

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"Would my son have a place in your America?"

[Content Note: War; death; Islamophobia.]

Khizr Khan, the father of a Muslim U.S. soldier who gave his life for his country in Iraq, came to be known by most of us when he used his platform at the Democratic convention to ask the Republican nominee: "Donald Trump, you're asking Americans to trust you with their future. Let me ask you: Have you even read the United States Constitution?"

Now, he is featured in a powerful and moving new ad for Hillary Clinton, despite the fact that his speaking out has had a steep cost for his family.

In 2004, my son was stationed in Iraq. He saw a suicide bomber approaching his camp. My son moved forward to stop the bomber, when the bomb exploded. He saved everyone in his unit. Only one American soldier died. My son was Captain Humayun Khan. He was 27 years old, and he was a Muslim American. I want to ask Mr. Trump: Would my son have a place in your America?
I feel very grateful for Mr. Khan's continued willingness to share his story and perspective during this election, in spite of the risk. I regret the reasons he has been obliged to do so. We need his voice. I value it enormously.

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I See What You're Doing, Donald Trump

[Content Note: Misogyny; racism.]

Donald Trump went off on Michelle Obama today, in a very particular way, and I am incandescently angry about it. I've got a new piece at Shareblue deconstructing exactly what he's up to:

Trump is mischaracterizing the First Lady's eight-year-old words, and in a very particular and pernicious way.

He is attempting to create a rift in what has been seen as a profoundly inspiring political partnership between two of the most prominent and admired women in the nation, who are strongly allied on the subject of women's empowerment and eradicating gender bias.

And who are united in condemning his attitudes and behavior toward women, and united in trying to defeat him.

So he is attempting to drive a wedge between them, and subvert the unified passion so many women across the nation have for the work Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton are doing together on our behalf.

This is an age-old disruptive strategy used by anti-feminist men, particularly white men who are unnerved by seeing alliances between Black and non-Black feminists.

Trump further suggests that his mischaracterization of Obama's words give him license to personally attack Clinton.

This is an ugly, despicable thing he's said — part of a long, ugly, despicable history of dividing to conquer feminist women.
There is more at the link, including video, with a complete transcript, of what he said.

The way this will get reported is that he's just being his usual bullying self, this time with the First Lady in his target. But it's much more sinister than that. And he knows it, even if most of the people listening to him don't.

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In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Misogyny] A Republican Congressman from Texas defended Donald Trump sneering into his microphone "such a nasty woman" during the third presidential debate, because "a lady needs to be told when she's being nasty." Yes, that's a real thing that happened, and I've got a piece at Shareblue on it.

Good news in reproductive health: "A federal judge on Thursday sided with women's health provider Planned Parenthood in a lawsuit aiming to block a Mississippi law that barred medical providers that perform abortions from participating in the state's Medicaid program. The decision by U.S. District Judge Daniel Jordan III is the latest in a string of rulings striking down similar laws elsewhere in the country against the women's health provider. Jordan's two-page order noted a ruling from the 5th U.S. District Court of Appeals that rejected a similar law in Louisiana, saying 'essentially every court to consider similar laws has found that they violate' federal law."

Former RNC Chair Michael Steele says he won't be voting for Trump. I'm not surprised that Steele isn't supporting him, but I didn't realize this: "Steele is the third former Republican National Committee Chairman to say he won't support Trump." Welp.

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] This MIT-engineered crib to help babies sleep looks amazing. Please make one for adults and then take my money.

Awwwwww: "Experts Say Dogs Dream About Their Humans; People Can't Stop Crying."

What have you been reading?

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Olivia the White Farm Cat sitting up in a chair
Someone thinks she's people.

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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An Observation

I read a headline last night, to which I'm not going to link, that described this election as "soul-crushing."

No, it isn't.

That is not to say it isn't sad in many ways, or hard, or upsetting.

But we are also very likely about to elect the first woman president of this nation. Who also happens to be the most qualified candidate ever to seek the office.

If you can describe this election as "soul-crushing," while giving no attention to that enormously exciting and important detail, maybe the problem isn't really the election, but you.

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Blog Note

Hey, everyone: Just wanted to make a request to the community to not post photos of ballots in comments. It's not legal everywhere: It depends on where you live and how you post it. But just to be on the safe side, the mods will be deleting any posted pictures of ballots. And you can help us out by not posting them in the first place! Thanks in advance for your understanding.

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It's Not Just You

[Content Note: Disablist language.]

There's more at Gizmodo:
Twitter, Spotify and Reddit, and a huge swath of other websites were down or screwed up this morning. This was happening as hackers unleashed a large distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on the servers of Dyn, a major DNS host. It's probably safe to assume that the two situations are related.

Domain Name Servers (DNS) act as the Internet's phone book. Basically, they facilitate your request to go to a certain webpage and make sure you are taken to the right place. If the DNS provider that handles requests for Twitter is down, well, good luck getting to Twitter. Some websites are coming back for some users, but it doesn’t look like the problem is fully resolved.

Dyn posted this update on its website: "Starting at 11:10 UTC on October 21th-Friday 2016 we began monitoring and mitigating a DDoS attack against our Dyn Managed DNS infrastructure. Some customers may experience increased DNS query latency and delayed zone propagation during this time. Updates will be posted as information becomes available."
There is a list of websites experiencing problems at the link.

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The Al Smith Dinner: Trump Gets Booed; Clinton Hands Trump His Ass

If you don't know what the Al Smith Dinner is, here's a brief description care of Wikipedia: "The Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, commonly known as the Al Smith Dinner, is an annual white tie fundraiser for Catholic charities supporting needy children held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York on the third Thursday of October. It is organized by the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation in honor of former New York Governor Al Smith, the first Catholic presidential candidate; the dinner is hosted by the Archbishop of New York (currently Cardinal Timothy Dolan). The first dinner was in 1945, the year after Al Smith's death. It is generally the last event at which the two U.S. presidential candidates share a stage before the election [during presidential election years]."

Not only do the candidates share a stage: They roast each other, and, typically, themselves.

So, last night, the two candidates showed up and did their thing. I'm sure you'll be shocked to hear that Donald Trump behaved abysmally. His jokes were cruel, and he got booed by the audience, which is unprecedented in the history of the Al Smith Dinner. The closest he got to sending up himself was throwing Melania under the bus in a plagiarism joke.

[Complete transcript.]

Hillary Clinton, wearing pink for breast cancer awareness month, but choosing the precise bright pink of Planned Parenthood, which I'm guessing is no coincidence because she is AMAZING, was genuinely funny with a far superior delivery, and she handed Trump his ass.

[Complete transcript.]

What's fascinating to me about Clinton's segment is that Trump seems delighted that she's even mentioning him, as opposed to the usual stony-faced reception he usually gives at these sorts of things. Honestly, it's the closest I've ever seen him come to actually laughing.

I'm not sure what that's about, exactly, but it reminds me of this ex-boyfriend of a friend of mine, who was the most enormous douchebag, and, the first time we met, referred to my friend and me as broads. "Are you broads ready to go or what?" I'd already suffered a half-hour of this guy's misogynistic bravado, and I replied with a snarl through a saccharine smile: "Modern women prefer to be called cunts." He paused, his eyes flashed, and then he broke out into cascading laughter. "I like this one!" he pronounced to my friend.

Whatever that's about is what was going on with Donald Trump as he watched Hillary Clinton last night.

Anyway. In summation: Donald Trump is an unfunny jerkbag and Hillary Clinton rules. The end.

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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

[Note: I am wrapping up a little early today, because I am going to be talking to Katie Klabusich this afternoon! I'll see you tomorrow.]

Suggested by Shaker Blue_Cat: "What have you been reading recently?" Other than political news, of course!

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

[Content Note: There is some flickery editing in this video.]

Wet Wet Wet: "Love Is All Around"

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Matilda the Fuzzy Sealpoint Cat sitting on the arm of the couch near the window, looking up at who-knows-what
"I see a ghost. Do you see it? It's right there."

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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Tweet of the Day

[Image in tweet pictures Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton giving each other a big squeezy hug immediately after last night's debate; Chelsea is smiling broadly.]

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The Status Quo

Last night, following the debate, I watched a lot of supercool punditry, but this moment really stood out to me. It wasn't strictly the worst moment, and, Jake Tapper said a lot of great things last night, but.

CNN's Jake Tapper: Look, this is an election where many people think it's a change election. President Obama still has very high approval ratings, but people don't like the direction of the country right now. And usually after eight years of one party in power, the White House switches. So, in many ways, this has been Donald Trump's to lose. He's the Republican nominee, coming in; he, without question, represents change. And it's hard to imagine how Hillary Clinton represents anything beyond Washington and power in Washington and, dare I say, status quo.
Y'all. There has never been a woman president in the history of the nation. 227 years. Not a single woman. But it's hard for Tapper to imagine how Clinton represents anything but the status quo. I mean.

I imagine his response would be to say he's only talking about her politics (as though erasure of her womanhood isn't a political issue in and of itself), but even that isn't accurate. Clinton is running on the most progressive Democratic platform in history. Which is a change in the status quo.

And I don't say that as a slam on President Obama! To the contrary, his presidency has facilitated and made possible much of the progress we see in the current platform. And even he has noted that Clinton will build on his legacy. Will progress, as progressives do.

The point is that she's not running on maintaining the status quo, but on building on the progress Obama has started.

No matter how you look at it, this contention is crap. But it's especially crap because it totally disappears and treats as utterly irrelevant the potential of a historic presidency, which significantly upends the "status quo" for women.

And, you know, that matters.

Tapper, although I know a lot of people disagree with me, tends to be among my favorite pundits. I generally think he does a great and fair job. So I'm not singling him out because he's bad: To the contrary, I'm highlighting this because I have a lot of respect for him.

Even the best of pundits are ignoring the historical significance of Hillary Clinton's candidacy, and it hurts my heart.

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Presidential Debate #3 Wrap-Up

Welp. That was...something.

As always, I live-tweeted the debate, and I have Storified those tweets for anyone who would like to see them.

And I have a piece at Shareblue on the debate: "Trump's America: Bad hombres and nasty women."

I don't know what could better sum up the final debate than the juxtaposition of Hillary Clinton's strongly defending reproductive choice and Donald Trump's leaning down into the microphone to sneer menacingly: "Such a nasty woman."

By any reasonable measure, he lost this debate. Just like he lost the first two.

I'll say once again: Congratulations, Hillary Clinton. You are carrying a lot on your shoulders; being the first woman in the nation's history in this position, being the standard bearer for women and the envoy of millions of people's hopes to stop Trump. That is a hell of a lot of pressure, and, as always, you rose you to the occasion. Wow. And thank you.

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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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Open Thread: Presidential Debate #3

image from second debate featuring Donald Trump skulking around behind Hillary Clinton while she's answering an audience question, labeled: 'Lady and the Trump: Nightmare Debatescape 2016!!!'

Well, tonight is the night! The third and final presidential debate between the most qualified presidential candidate in the nation's history and the most unqualified presidential candidate in the nation's history. A history-making candidate and a legendary bigot. The first woman to inhabit this space and the galaxy's biggest misogynist.


Let's see if Donald Trump can try to keep his predatory garbage behavior under wraps for a whole NINETY MINUTES and not stalk Hillary Clinton all over the stage like a weirdo creeper. It should be easier for him now that he'll be behind a podium again, to which I can only assume Kellyanne Conway chains him before the debate, just to be sure.

Anyway! Here's an open thread to discuss the debate—before, during, and after. I'll just be over here, biting my nails.

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