Here is some stuff in the news today...
[Content Note: Christian Supremacy; video may autoplay at link] Pope Francis gave a speech at the White House today, and, considering it was a speech by a religious leader who advocates bigotry against millions of USians, it was pretty inoffensive. Mainly because he stuck to climate change. In case you can't tell, I don't find it appropriate for the Pope to be speaking at the White House. For a bunch of reasons.
[CN: War on agency] Imani Gandy on the "Key Court Ruling Coming in Smear Campaign Against Planned Parenthood," in which crucial First Amendment issues are at stake.
[CN: Transphobia; gender policing; sexual assault] Zach Stafford on the gross transphobia (and, I would argue, sexual assault) being committed at airports against trans people by the TSA. I am really just very, very angry about the fact that trans women (especially but not exclusively) are continually harmed in the most heinous ways under the auspices of protecting cis people. I'm never going to feel unsafe because I'm sharing space with a trans person just living their life. Not in a bathroom, not on a plane, not anywhere.
Welp: "Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned on Wednesday, taking responsibility for the German carmaker's rigging of U.S. emissions tests in the biggest scandal in its 78-year history. 'Volkswagen needs a fresh start—also in terms of personnel. I am clearing the way for this fresh start with my resignation,' Winterkorn said in a statement. He said he was shocked by events of the past few days, above all that misconduct on such a massive scale was possible at the company." Fresh start, accountability, tomato, tomahto.
[CN: Police brutality; social injustice] This is just so, so good: "Most of the Radical Ideas the Black Panthers Had Are Now Totally Mainstream." Also? Most of the systemic injustices the Black Panthers were trying to address make their Ten Point Plan still relevant today. That is not because the Black Panthers were ineffective; to the contrary, their effectiveness is why their ideas are now mainstream. It's because of the violent persistence of white supremacy.
[CN: Racism] Speaking of white supremacy, Republican presidential hopeful and not even the biggest dipshit in his family Jeb Bush used the occasion of being asked what he would do to help refugees prepare for life in the US to argue against multiculturalism: "We should not have a multicultural society. When you create pockets of isolation—and in some places the process of assimilation has been retarded because they've slowed down—it's wrong. It limits people's aspirations." Except, you know, for all the people who realize their "American Dream" by becoming entrepreneurs providing goods and/or services to other immigrants from their community. As but one example. Bush also said: "The power of America is a set of shared values with a very diverse population embracing it." We have shared values? Oh. That must be why Congress gets so much shit done, because of the set of values on which we all agree.
In other Republican presidential news, Professor of Bible Bigotry Mike Huckabee says it's too bad "stupid people" can vote: "I know that most politicians say we want everyone to vote, I'm gonna be honest with you, I don't want everyone to vote. If they're so stupid—that's right, if they're gonna vote for me they need to vote, if they're not gonna vote for me they need to stay home. I mean, it's that simple." He was clearly joking (such as it is) there, but then went on to say: "But in the big picture, there are people who vote and they have no idea what our Constitution says. They have no idea what the limitations of government are supposed to be." And that was said seriously, without a trace of fucking irony, by a man who literally wants to force everyone to follow laws designed by his personal interpretation of the Bible.
[CN: Misogynist slur] And in not-presidential news, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's campaign manager Rick Wiley went off on what happened with Walker's campaign, and buried in among his venting is this gem: "As [Walker] began the presidential campaign, according to advisers, he knew little about issues like immigration, the Ex-Im bank, and foreign policy. Walker's campaign brought in experts to brief him on those subjects. Aides said he enjoyed the briefings and worked hard to become fluent in policy issues. ...Wiley blamed the size of the campaign partly on Walker's newness to the national spotlight. 'It takes a lot to build a campaign to run for president, especially around someone who is introduced to a new set of issues,' Wiley said. 'Foreign policy—brand new. And just the dynamics of the federal issues are different, obviously. I mean, my God, this guy is a machine—I mean he really, truly is. But that takes staff, it takes time to do that. And we built the campaign that we needed to get him ready.'" This is a literal repeat of Sarah Palin for VP: A Republican "star" who knows fuck-all about anything it takes to lead the country. And we're supposed to be impressed that Walker went from zero knowledge of foreign policy and federal issues in a few weeks or whatever. I am not impressed; that is TERRIFYING.
Neat! "A supermoon lunar eclipse will take center stage in the sky this weekend marking the first time the spectacle has been seen since 1982. The cosmic event will take place on the night of Sept. 27 when two periodic events—supermoons and lunar eclipses—will happen at the same time, making for a rare coincidence."
"Happy Birthday" has been ruled in the public domain now, so put it in all your movies!
And finally! "15+ Hilarious Examples of Cat Logic." LOLOLOLOLOL foreverrrrrr yessss.