[Explanations: lol your fat. pathetic anger bread. hey your gay.]
Belly up to the bar,
and be in this space together.
This blogaround brought to you by E=MC2.
Shae: Feminists Get a Lot Right—Let's Celebrate That
Matthew: [Content Note: Violent homophobia] Hillary Clinton Slams Trump for Silence on Torture of Gay and Bisexual Men in Chechnya
E.A.: [CN: Islamophobia; anti-Semitism; nativism] Marine Le Pen Is Using Islamophobia to Draw Female Voters
Ragen: [CN: Fat hatred; death] Doctor Kills Fat Person, Gets Slap on the Wrist
Jessica: [CN: Rape culture; war on agency] The False Rape Narrative Has No Place in Feminism, Even in Fake Pro-Life Feminism
George: What the Hell Is This Beautiful Thing?
Fannie: First Crush Friday
Leave your links and recommendations in comments. Self-promotion welcome and encouraged!
Donald Trump signed a couple more executive orders today, with some cool financial deregulations for his friends.
Trump as he signs new executive orders to loosen Wall Street regulations: "really the beginning of a whole new way of life"— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) April 21, 2017
Spoiler alert: That "new way of life" isn't going to improve the lives of anyone who was legitimately economically anxious. https://t.co/BZ7NAuccU7— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) April 21, 2017
Donald Trump quietly met a pair of former Colombian presidents last weekend at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, thrusting his administration into an ugly power struggle in Latin America that threatens to undermine the country's controversial peace agreement with rebel leaders.So, not only did Trump hold this secret meeting, at his deeply problematic private estate, but then his spokesperson straight-up lied about it. This is aggressively unacceptable—and it will barely get a passing mention in the political press, because there is so much other shit swirling around in Trump's tornado of chaos.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is expected to push Trump to support the peace accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia at their first meeting at the White House next month. He wants the Trump administration and Congress to maintain the $450 million in foreign aid promised by former President Barack Obama to implement the plan to end Latin America's longest armed conflict.
The meeting between Trump and the former presidents, Álvaro Uribe and Andrés Pastrana – Colombia news media have reported it was arranged by an influential U.S. critic of the plan, Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida – was not on the president's schedule and was not disclosed to reporters who traveled with him to Palm Beach.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer initially declined to answer questions about the meeting, leading to a rash of speculation in Colombian media. Colombian newspapers, websites and radio stations debated the meeting’s significance — and whether it actually had happened. "I don't have anything for you at this time," Spicer said Wednesday when asked.
The White House later confirmed the meeting to McClatchy but downplayed its significance, saying it was a mere coincidence that both former leaders opposed to the peace pact were at the president's club. Aides to Rubio declined to comment.
"They were there with a member from the club and briefly said hello when the president walked past them," spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. "There wasn't anything beyond a quick hello."
But the leaders' own comments contradict the White House's characterization.
In a tweet following the meeting, Pastrana thanked Trump for the "cordial and very frank conversation" about problems in Colombia and the region.
I once wrote that my favorite celebrity couple was always Anne Bancroft and Mel Brooks (I'm old), because I loved the way Anne Bancroft talked about their marriage: "When I hear his key in the lock at night my heart starts to beat faster. I'm just so happy he's coming home. We have so much fun." And this: "I'd never had so much pleasure with another human being. It was that simple."
Because Iain and I are a different-sex couple, who don't have any truck for traditional gender roles, who regard each other as equals, and who made the choice not to parent, there aren't a lot of visible representations of marriages like ours. I'm a lot more likely to hear jokes about "ball-busting" and field expressions of shock if I mention Iain vacuuming, or read complaints about how couples like us are "selfish" for not having children, than I am to see or read anything that positively reflects our lives back to us.
So, like Bancroft and Brooks, I always enjoy hearing Ina Garten, aka The Barefoot Contessa, talk about her relationship of 48 years with her husband Jeffrey. This interview is particularly good, as she also spoke about their choice not to parent.
Ina Garten and her husband Jeffrey have one of the most coveted marriages on television. Over the course of 48 years together, they've shared laughs, love, and not to mention very good food, but the pair decided early on that they wouldn't share kids together.I love that she says, matter-of-factly, that parenting is a choice, and her choice was not to parent. No excuses or caveats. That's it and that's all.
"We decided not to have children," the Food Network star says in a new episode of the Katie Couric Podcast airing on Thursday. "I really appreciate that other people do and we will always have friends that have children that we are close to but it was a choice I made very early. I really felt, I feel, that I would have never been able to have the life I've had. So it's a choice and that was the choice I made."
Paige Winfield Cunningham, Kelsey Snell, and John Wagner at the Washington Post: White House Turns up Heat on Congress to Revise the Affordable Care Act.
Trump is pushing Congress toward another dramatic showdown over the Affordable Care Act, despite big outstanding obstacles to a beleaguered revision plan and a high-stakes deadline next week to keep the government running."Big outstanding obstacles." Well, that's polite, lol! Those obstacles include the fact that the plan is garbage, there's likely no more support for this iteration than the last one which failed, and the ridiculously fast pace means that the people who would be voting on it don't even know how much the plan would cost or what its effects would be:
Several congressional GOP aides, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk openly about the ongoing negotiations, said they worry that the rushed process threatens to create another embarrassing public failure over health care. The schedule would also make it nearly impossible for lawmakers to finish their work in time for official scorekeepers to provide a clear estimate of how much the legislation would cost or how it would affect coverage numbers.It's not like slowing things down would translate into the Republicans devising a better plan. They've had seven years since the Affordable Care Act was passed, so another month (or two, or a hundred) wouldn't yield a better healthcare access policy from a party that regards healthcare access as a privilege. But it would at least provide the space for critical facts about that plan to be assessed, so legislators wouldn't be ludicrously asked to vote on a massive piece of legislation about which they don't even know the most fundamental details.
The effort reflects Trump's sense of urgency to score a victory on Obamacare replacement and move on to other legislative objectives, notably tax restructuring. Passing an Affordable Care Act revision would also allow the president to show progress toward a major campaign promise as he completes his first 100 days in office.President Unity does not understand, or care, that this push will dramatically increase the likelihood of a government shutdown, which will be another colossal mess on his already splattered record of failure.
"The plan gets better and better and better, and it's gotten really good, and a lot of people are liking it a lot," Trump said at a news conference Thursday. "We have a good chance of getting it soon. I'd like to say next week, but we will get it."
Democrats have so far been willing to work with Republicans to avoid a government shutdown, but any effort to schedule a vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act could destroy those talks and threaten a government shutdown that Republicans have vowed to avoid.Trump's position: "I think we want to keep the government open, don't you agree? So I think we'll get both." He is living in a fantasy world.
"There isn't going to be a warm, fuzzy feeling," House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) said of the impact a health-care repeal effort would have on spending talks.
Congress has five days next week to pass a spending bill, a tight timeline under the most generous of circumstance that would be nearly impossible to meet if House leaders also try to force a vote on the repeal legislation. Several Republican and Democratic aides said there is a chance that both parties could agree to pass a very short-lived spending bill — one that kept the government open one week, for instance — to give negotiators time to carefully complete a broader spending agreement. But Democrats are already warning that they could walk away if GOP leaders push for repeal.
"It doesn't really bode well in terms of negotiating with us that they're going to try to push off the vote on the [spending bill] to accommodate them on a bill we think is disastrous," Crowley said.
As Aphra_Behn reported on Wednesday, Bernie Sanders, in his capacity as co-chair of Democratic outreach, said flatly of Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff: "He's not a progressive," while declaring as "progressive" Nebraska Democrat Heath Mello, despite the fact that Mello has sponsored legislation that would restrict abortion rights.
Yesterday, Sanders defended that position to NPR Politics:
Sanders pushed back against the criticism. "The truth is that in some conservative states there will be candidates that are popular candidates who may not agree with me on every issue. I understand it. That's what politics is about," Sanders told NPR.This is absolutely incredible. After holding Ossoff to a litmus test on vaguely defined "economic issues," he gives Mello a pass on abortion rights because there are candidates "who may not agree with [him] on every issue."
"If we are going to protect a woman's right to choose, at the end of the day we're going to need Democratic control over the House and the Senate, and state governments all over this nation," he said. "And we have got to appreciate where people come from, and do our best to fight for the pro-choice agenda. But I think you just can't exclude people who disagree with us on one issue."
That "one issue" determines whether I have autonomy, agency, consent. It determines, in part, whether I am equal. Or whether I'm not.— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) April 21, 2017
Suggested by Shaker yes: "What are your favorite fermented foods? Have you ever tried making your own?"
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!
Tell me more about Clinton being a weak candidate. https://t.co/uGLqcbdKur— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) April 20, 2017
Hey, ya crew of feminist howler monkeys! It's me, Butch Pornstache, here to lay down some totally trenchant man-wisdom for your brains. (YOU'RE WELCOME!)
I know last time I said I would talk about Donald Trump next time I graced you with my presence, but first I got some shit to get off my chest about Bernie Sanders.
Namely, I need this guy to stop being a tool, because I'm getting real tired of listening to my ex-wife/fiancée Tammy and my stepmom Cheryl screaming about him all the time like a bunch of angry feminist bats.
And before you all start screaming at me like a bunch of angry feminist bats, no, I do not mean tool like a euphemism for man-meat (LADIES), because I know that gendered insults are not allowed here. (And how I know that is because I really, really wanted to title this post "Bernie Sanders Is a Dick," but Liss wouldn't let me.)
I mean tool like an actual tool. Specifically, a broken plunger.
Because right now, based on my knowledge gleaned from all the high-volume complaining in my house, politics are pretty messed up for people who aren't in my straight white dude group. Like, Trump won, and he hates people with identities, and then he picked a bunch of straight white dudes who also hate people with identities to help him run the country (INTO THE GROUND), and now a bunch of liberal bozos who should know better are like WE HAVE TO HATE PEOPLE WITH IDENTITIES, TOO or something.
Basically, it's like a blocked-up toilet that just keeps overflowing with turds, and Bernie Sanders is like, "Hey, I can fix it!" but he doesn't fix it, because he's a broken plunger that doesn't unclog anything and just gets more shit everywhere.
(That analogy is elegant as hell. Sometimes I really impress myself.)
And, hey, we can't all be plungers, man. But there was a super dorky plunger that also WORKED REAL GOOD and Bernie Sanders screamed in its face about how it was an establishment plunger and now THERE ARE NO WORKING PLUNGERS and my entire bathroom is covered in butt-mud!
Anyways. As a reformed Tea Bagger who has become "moderately more sympathetic," as I heard Tammy telling her mom on the phone (I also give her fewer "terrible bargain days" now, whatever that means), and a proud white working class man who runs my own business (HAPPY 420), I am apparently the sort of dude that Sanders wants to bring into his revolution. COOL. It's nice to be wanted. Amirite, ladies?
But, for real, man, I hate the dude. Every time I see him, he's screaming about millionaires and billionaires, and I guess most millionaires and billionaires are assholes and whatnot, but what does that have to do with the fact that I gotta drive about a jillion miles next week so my cousin Sheila can get an abortion because her deadbeat boyfriend doesn't give her money for the two kids they already have?
I don't even understand what Bernie Sanders is talking about, and I sure don't like being yelled at by a grumpy fart who would probably turn up his nose if I offered him some of my homemade hotdog chili.
Why is he yelling all the time? Is he selling something? He makes me feel like I'm watching a late-night infomercial on breaking up the banks. "And if you call RIGHT NOW, you will get YUUUUUUGE savings! For a limited time only, we can break up TWO banks for the price of one!" God, break 'em up, just leave me out of it!
Or don't break 'em up! I don't know! I don't have any idea how that's supposed to help me, anyways!
And I'm pretty sure if I tried to ask him, it'd be like that time I asked a dude at the library where I might find a book about krav maga, and he got SUPER PISSED because he didn't even work there. Like I'm supposed to know which white-haired dudes with glasses work at the library and which ones are just there to check out Kathy Ireland: Total Fitness Workout on VHS so they can "do aerobics" to it.
I guess what I'm saying, to put it in language you snowflakes will understand, is that I just don't find Bernie Sanders very "accessible" or "relatable." Or "nice."
Forget his politics (I already have), the guy just seems like an ass. I bet if the tire on my BMX chubbed out on me and I was stranded on the side of the road, he wouldn't even stop to help. Unlike Hillary Clinton, who would pull over and definitely try to do something, even though I wouldn't want her to risk getting covered in road dust, because those coats of hers are fucking beautiful, man.
She'd probably whip a tire pump out of her pocket, or tell me IT TAKES A VILLAGE and rally 9,000 townsfolk to help blow up my tire, so I could make it home and get back to the important business of listening to my books on tape. (Yes, I READ.) (LADIES.)
Maybe that's unfair. Bernie might at least stop to tell me he'd give me some free college.
I just don't dig how he doesn't seem to like anyone or anything. It was pretty obvious that he hated the shit outta Hillary. And I am about ten thousand times stupider and ten million times more likely to spill nacho cheese on your couch than she is, so if he didn't like her, he definitely wouldn't like me.
Or pretty much anyone I know.
And, listen, Tammy and Cheryl hate it when I tell them I'm learning—and they want me to tell you that's not because they don't want me to learn, but because they want me to learn without telling them I'm learning, especially when I say it like GAWD I'M LEARNING every time I fuck up—but I am learning, in spite of my resistance (#RESIST) to all of you femifarts and your femifarty ways. And one of the things I've learned is that I don't know shit.
I thought I knew basically everything, but it turns out you can live a damn long time without knowing much about a lot of stuff that matters to a whole lot of other people if you're a straight white dude.
I bet you didn't even know that! Now YOU'RE learning something! The student has become the teacher!
And learning shit means listening to people (NOT A FAN) who know more than you do about their own lives. That is what I have discovered, after Tammy and Cheryl pointed it out to me on many different occasions.
If you can turn off The Big Bang Theory (HA HA NERDS) and listen for two seconds, as has been repeatedly recommended to me, you find out that people have a lot of interesting stuff to tell you, even if they didn't support Bernie Sanders.
Which seems like a weird litmus test (SCIENCE) to me, anyhow. It seems to me it should take more than that to be considered "a progressive." Like, if I said right now, "I love Bernie!" I would be a progressive, but all of you dorks wouldn't be? Zounds! Go directly to PROGRESSIVE and collect $200!
Something ain't right about that.
I don't know, man. Basically, Bernie just seems like a real jerkturkey to me. Plus he's making Tammy and Cheryl lose their shit on the daily, which is some crap I don't need in my life when I'm trying to improve myself so that I'm not the one making them lose their shit on the daily, so I really wish he'd just shut the fuck up and go away.
"I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the President of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and Constitutional power."—Attorney General Jeff Sessions, referring to a judge in Hawaii blocking Donald Trump's Muslim ban executive order.
Got that? The Attorney General of the United States just referred to Hawaii, a U.S. state since 1959, as "an island in the Pacific."
Now Republicans are indeed set to introduce the new plan, multiple reports tell us. And judging by a new study set to be released today, it is even crueler than the last GOP plan: The study finds premiums would likely soar for the sick, probably pushing them off coverage.This is just unreal. They took a hideously cruel plan and made it even crueler.
...It allows states to seek a waiver to get rid of the Affordable Care Act's prohibition on charging higher premiums to people with preexisting conditions, on the condition that states set up or participate in high-risk pools that would help cover any of those people who lose insurance.
...But the waiver on prohibitions against jacking up premiums for people with preexisting conditions — which is called "community rating" — is a major problem. It would smack them with far more in premiums — potentially pushing them off coverage entirely.
The liberal Center for American Progress (CAP) conducted a new study — set to be released later today — on how much these premiums might soar for people with various preexisting ailments. The "surcharge" represents additional premium charges that insurers are projected to add to coverage of each condition, and the numbers are eye-popping.
...Meanwhile, the new GOP plan would keep in place the old plan's phase-out of the Medicaid expansion, which would itself result in 14 million fewer people on Medicaid, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Estimated spike in premiums if you have...— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) April 20, 2017
Lung cancer: $73k
Breast cancer: $28k
A pregnancy(!): $17k https://t.co/62b2I7RHEH
Where in the world is President Obama? I don't mean where he is, literally. As far as I know, he's still on a beautiful island somewhere, writing a book, taking breaks to hang-glide through the arches of rainbows and ride a unicorn to a clear, temperate pool of restorative elixir that will return a dozen of the 20 years of life he lost trying to run this country while being haunted by the specter of a grim-faced Mitch McConnell mouthing the words "No chance" and reeking of sulfur.
I mean where he is in the discussions of the future of the Democratic Party. Three months ago, he left office a popular president with significant policy achievements under his belt, having made history and rescued the nation from the brink of economic collapse.
But, to listen to a number of the folks talking about the future of the Democratic Party, you'd think we'd been in the wilderness for decades. You wouldn't think we were three months past a successful, two-term Democratic presidency.
Where is the deservedly proud boasting about his accomplishments? Where are the (should be) incessant reminders of what a vastly superior administration he oversaw, compared to the current occupant of the Oval Office?
It seems a curious omission.
Until one considers the confounding decision among party leadership to elevate Bernie Sanders, who isn't even a Democrat and lost to Hillary Clinton in a primary, as the standard-bearer for the party, while treating Clinton, who beat Trump by 3 million votes in the general election, like she's radioactive.
Obama has become very inconvenient for a lot of Democrats. Because we all know Clinton was going to be a president very much like he was—and if they say anything positive about him or his presidency, it exposes that the primary objection to Clinton wasn't. fucking. policy.
They're effectively disowning the nation's first Black president in order to conceal their misogyny toward the party's first woman nominee.
And still they wonder why some of us are getting itchy about the direction the party seems to be headed. Ahem.
This piece, "Fake Working Class," by Jamelle Bouie at Slate is so, so good. I strongly recommend reading the whole thing, but here is an excerpt:
Retail jobs aren't good jobs, per se; on average, they pay little, provide few benefits, and are notoriously unstable. But roughly 1 in every 10 Americans works in retail, which means millions rely on the industry for their livelihoods. As the Times notes, "The job losses in retail could have unexpected social and political consequences, as huge numbers of low-wage retail employees become economically unhinged, just as manufacturing workers did in recent decades."Trump cares so little about working class (and often working poor) retail workers, who are disproportionately women of color, that he doesn't even bother to offer them lipservice about "bringing back" their jobs, as they are lost in droves to online shopping.
Despite this ongoing challenge and threat to millions of ordinary Americans, Washington is silent. What makes this even more striking is it comes at a time when politicians—and a multitude of voices in national media—are preoccupied with the prospects of blue-collar whites and the future of the Rust Belt. That contrast exists for several reasons, not the least of which is a simple one: Who does retail work in this country versus who does manufacturing work.
For those in the latter group, mostly white and mostly male, Donald Trump made their anger, anxiety, and identity the centerpiece of his presidential campaign, promising restoration through better "deals" and aggressive action against foreigners and perceived others.
...In terms of attention, these workers punch far above their weight class. They constitute a small portion of the American workforce, and yet, elite journalists devote countless words to their lives and communities, while politicians use them and their priorities as a platform for performing authenticity. For those in and around politics, one's connection to "real America" is often judged by one's proximity to these workers and their concerns. Which raises a question: Why them and not those retail workers who face an equally (if not more) precarious future?
...Retail work in malls and shopping centers and department stores is largely work done by women. Of the nearly 6 million people who work in those fields in stores like Sears, Michaels, Target, J.C. Penney, and Payless, close to 60 percent are women. There's another issue to consider. A substantial portion of these workers—roughly 40 percent across the different kinds of retail—are black, Latino, or Asian American.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't disaggregate this data by race and gender, but it's likely that a large number of those nonwhite workers—if not a majority—are women too. By contrast, heavy manufacturing, industrial, and extraction work is overwhelmingly white and male.
The silver lining of the Trump administration is that millions of people are getting involved in politics for the first time to fight back.— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) April 19, 2017
Let's all take a moment to appreciate that he is literally commending people who had the luxury to remain disengaged until now AND DID. https://t.co/McBvyKxTMy— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) April 19, 2017
"I don't have any illusion that I'm going to walk in—and I certainly hope it is not the case, but if there is a Republican House and a Republican Senate—that I'm going to walk in there and say, 'Hey guys, listen. I'd like you to work with me on raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.' It ain't gonna happen, I have no illusion about that. The only way that I believe that change takes place…is that tens of millions of people are going to have to stand up and be involved in the political process the day after the election."If Sanders believes that he could have and would have inspired millions of people to "stand up and be involved" after the election, then there is, quite literally, no silver lining to Trump doing the same.