Here is some stuff in the news today...
[Content Note: Transphobia] This is just making me all kinds of happy right now: After the students at Oak Park High School in Kansas City, Missouri, elected Landon Patterson, a trans girl, their homecoming queen, the epic fuckheads of the Westboro Baptist Church decided they would protest homecoming. But, instead, they were met with the students protesting them, shouting "Long live the queen!" in support of Patterson. The Westboro folks got back in their cars and scurried away. Kids today! Get ON my lawn!
Hillary Clinton does not support the Trans-Pacific Partnership, saying she is "worried 'about currency manipulation not being part of the agreement' and that 'pharmaceutical companies may have gotten more benefits and patients fewer. ...As of today, I am not in favor of what I have learned about it.'" Welp!
[CN: Guns] The good news: "Senate Democrats will begin a campaign to combat gun violence on Thursday as party leaders prepare to unveil a sweeping package of legislation that builds on their failed 2013 attempt to require universal background checks for gun purchases... In addition to background checks, Democrats are aiming to add new money for the Justice Department's existing background checks system that has recently faltered and include provisions to prevent domestic abusers from buying guns." The bad news: "The proposal is not likely to get a vote under the reign of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), but Democrats say the package is intended to show that Democrats are serious about reducing gun deaths but can't make headway in a Republican Senate." Sigh.
[CN: Death] I totally agree with Digby on this Joe Biden ad. In general, I don't feel good about the way Biden is using his son's death to (potentially) launch his campaign, especially when I read stuff like this: "Before that moment and since, Biden has told the Beau story to others. Sometimes details change—the setting, the exact words." And within the context of Biden having a history of dishonesty. It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
[CN: War; bombing; death] "President Obama personally apologized on Wednesday to the head of Doctors Without Borders for what he described as the mistaken bombing of its field hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, promising a full investigation into the episode, which took the lives of nearly two dozen doctors and patients. But five days after an American AC-130 gunship devastated the medical facility, Mr. Obama's personal expression of regret in a telephone call from the Oval Office appeared to do little to satisfy the leader of the doctors group, who issued a terse statement saying the president's apology had been 'received.'" What was she supposed to say? An apology is the bare minimum of decency, and it doesn't change what happened.
[CN: Rape culture] The fucking opening paragraphs of this WaPo article on an Indiana fraternity rape hazing ritual: "As a video circulated online Wednesday showing what appeared to be a sexual hazing ritual at an Indiana University fraternity, some who saw it shrugged. Others thought it was funny, tweeting 'LOL' and 'LMAO.' Some, however, thought it was rape.' Two sides to every story! Maybe it was rape, or maybe it was totes hilar! JFC.
[CN: Fat hatred; disablism; self-harm] A new study has found that "patients who have bariatric surgery to aid in weight loss are more likely than they were before the operation to attempt suicide or end up in the hospital after doing harm to themselves. As complications of weight-loss surgery go, the hazard was rare. A Canadian study that tracked 8,815 bariatric surgery patients found that in their three post-surgical years, just 1.3% of those patients landed in the hospital following a self-harm emergency, which included intentional drug overdoses or suicide attempts by other means. But that rate of self-injurious behavior represented a 54% increase over that seen in the same patient population during the three years before these patients had surgery." But trust this: Bariatric surgeries will continue, because the people who do them often believe that people are better off dead than fat.
[CN: Slut-shaming; white supremacy] This is a great piece by Zeba Blay on why "Reclaiming the Word 'Slut' Is an Entirely Different Beast for Black Women."
[CN: Carcerality] And this is a great piece by Cristina Costantini and Kristofer Ríos on the Brownsville Youth Court, a diversion court in Brooklyn that "hears low-level cases for first-time offenders between 10 and 18," and is run entirely by teenagers. "The Brownsville program is one of more than 1,000 youth court diversion programs across the country that aim to keep first-time offenders out of the court system."
This kid is amazing: Quvenzhané Wallis has "signed a book deal with Simon & Schuster that'll have her publish four books in just over a year. She's set to release a three-part Judy Moody–inspired series that follows third-grader Shai Williams, another young 'star in the making who has a flair for the dramatic...both onstage and off.' The first book will be published January 2017, with the next two installments coming fall 2017 and summer 2018. In addition to that series, she'll also release a picture book that's loosely based on Wallis's life in the spotlight about a 'spunky young heroine who is very much looking forward to a night out with her mom at an awards show.'" Adorbz!
Wow: "Student and YouTube star Jamie Raines, 21, was about to turn 18 when he first started taking testosterone [to begin physically transitioning]... He decided to document his transition by taking a selfie every day." Think of Jamie Raines the next time you hear some sanctimonious asshat pontificating about how selfies are narcissistic.
And finally! "Dog blames his dog housemate for creating a mess in the most hilarious way possible." OMG LOLOLOL!