In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

President Obama calls out the media for their "both sides are both as bad" narrative: "You'll hear if you watch the nightly news or you read the newspapers that, well, there's gridlock, Congress is broken, approval ratings for Congress are terrible. And there's a tendency to say, a plague on both your houses. But the truth of the matter is that the problem in Congress is very specific. We have a group of folks in the Republican Party who have taken over who are so ideologically rigid, who are so committed to an economic theory that says if folks at the top do very well then everybody else is somehow going to do well; who deny the science of climate change; who don't think making investments in early childhood education makes sense; who have repeatedly blocked raising a minimum wage so if you work full-time in this country you're not living in poverty; who scoff at the notion that we might have a problem with women not getting paid for doing the same work that men are doing. ...So when you hear a false equivalence that somehow, well, Congress is just broken, it's not true. What's broken right now is a Republican Party that repeatedly says no to proven, time-tested strategies to grow the economy, create more jobs, ensure fairness, open up opportunity to all people." Damn!

(Too bad he hasn't been saying exactly that for the last six years. But still: DAMN!)

[Content Note: Racism] Mark Cuban is a fucking jackass who needs to STFU: "In a videotaped interview with Inc. Magazine on Wednesday, Cuban casually tosses out stereotypes as if he were talking about the weather. In doing so, Cuban wants credit for just being honest. But his honesty is appalling... "I mean, we're all prejudiced in one way or another. If I see a black kid in a hoodie and it's late at night, I'm walking to the other side of the street. And if on that side of the street there's a guy that has tattoos all over his face—white guy, bald head, tattoos everywhere—I'm walking back to the other side of the street. And the list goes on of stereotypes we all live up to and are fearful of." No, Mark Cuban. We "all" are not fearful of black kids in hoodies and white guys with facial tattoos.

[CN: Transphobia] New research conducted by "scholars at the Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law, estimates that nearly 150,000 transgender individuals have served in the U.S. armed forces, or are currently on active duty." Maybe we could get busy changing policy to allow trans* servicemembers to serve openly, so they are not fighting to defend freedoms they are themselves not afforded.

[CN: Possible racism] A black teenager at Proviso East High School in Maywood, Illinois, has been told he cannot be valedictorian of his class per a rule existence of which the administration cannot provide proof: "[L]ast week, both Ladarius Sapho and the school's number two student, the salutatorian, got called to the office for some bad news. Principal Tony Valente told them they didn't qualify for the honors, because both students started at the school as sophomores after moving into the district. Policy requires they must have attended for at least seven semesters to get the titles. 'You're gonna tell me just two weeks before graduation? I had a speech ready, I was ready to give this speech, practicing, and he tells me I can't be number one,' added Sapho. Community advocate Antoinette Gray has been working to help Sapho get the title he earned. 'There is no policy,' said Gray. 'They have been asked not once, but two or three times to produce that written policy. And the reason that was given by Tony Valente, the school principal, was that it was his discretion to make that decision.'" Bullshit. (I note this is "possible" racism, because Maywood is a predominantly black community. So I don't know for sure whether the issue is Sapho's race, to make way for a non-black valedictorian, or a personal issue, or some combination thereof. In any case, this is real garbage.)

[CN: Fat hatred; misogyny; article at link uses some language not favored by most fat activists (e.g. "overweight"); images may be NSFW] Instagram apologizes after taking down an image of a fat woman they deemed "'mature content,' despite the fact that the behind was covered by underwear and similar to countless thin women who have never been banned."

If you are in North America, you are likely to have a pretty good view of the Camelopardalid meteor shower tonight! Neat!

And finally! Poppy the Cat has been crowned the oldest known living cat. She is 24! Congratulations, Poppy!

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