In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

Well, it's hard to believe, but Real Person Jim Gilmore suspended his fiery hot presidential campaign earlier this month, and I didn't even hear about it! Sad trombone. Now all that is left of a primary field that once consisted of 17 candidates has dwindled down to a mere five. Five terrible nightmare men.

[Content Note: War on agency] In other presidential news: Ohio Governor "Moderate" John Kasich "on Sunday signed a bill that aims to strip funding from Planned Parenthood in the state." This fucking guy and his whole fucking party.

Meanwhile, Marco Rubio has picked up some awesome endorsements from Tim Pawlenty and Donnie Wahlberg.

Irin Carmon interviews black feminists about the Democratic primary: "'An emphasis on not only black women, but black feminists, is long overdue,' said Lori Adelman, co-executive director of Feministing. 'So often, black women's support is taken for granted.'" YES. Taken for granted, and discussed incessantly as if black women are a monolith with a universal set of needs and opinions.

[CN: Rape culture; sexual violence] I am having a difficult time articulating how incandescently angry and profoundly grief-stricken I am with the court decision that singer Kesha would not be released from her contract with Dr. Luke, whom she reports sexually assaulted and psychologically abused her. This is a decent piece explaining the legal aspects of the case. Taylor Swift has donated $250,000 to her continuing legal battle. I just want to say, at this point, that I believe survivors. I believe Kesha. And to all my fellow survivors: I see you. I believe you.

Ian Millhiser lays out the "Four Paths Obama Could Take with His Supreme Court Nominee." Personally, I am really hoping the President goes for the "Declaration of War" option: "A final strategy the White House could deploy is to choose a nominee that would most highlight the distinctions between the two parties. The most obvious way to do so would be to nominate DC Circuit Judge Nina Pillard to replace Scalia. Pillard is the closest thing America has produced to another Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. A former Georgetown law professor, litigator in the Solicitor General's office, and attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Pillard litigated two of the most important women's rights decisions of the last two decades. She also produced an unapologetically feminist scholarship as a professor. ...Pillard's resume, her sex-positive scholarship, and her open support for women's reproductive freedom will not earn her many friends on the Republican side of the aisle." GOOD. THIS IS THE WAY TO GO.

[CN: Racism; carcerality] In other good (for lack of a better word, because there's nothing good about this situation except that it's ended) news: "A former Black Panther activist who was in solitary confinement for 43 years was freed from a United States prison after years of legal cases trying to prove his innocence. Albert Woodfox was the last one of the 'Angola Three' activists to be freed from jail... In June 2015, a federal judge ordered Woodfox's unconditional release that ceased any other trials that brought up any charges around murdering prison guard Brian Miller. Albert Woodfox managed to overturn his conviction for the crime twice, but Louisiana's attorney general was determined to continue with a third trial. After pleading 'no contest' to two smaller charges, he was released on his 69th birthday. He, later, released a statement. 'Although I was looking forward to proving my innocence at a new trial, concerns about my health and my age have caused me to resolve this case now and obtain my release with this no-contest plea to lesser charges,' Woodfox said in a statement. 'I hope the events of today will bring closure to many.'"

[CN: Water access; violence] Fuck: "More than 10 million people in India's capital are without water despite the army regaining control of its key water source after protests, officials say. Keshav Chandra, head of Delhi's water board, told the BBC it would take 'three to four days' before normal supplies resumed to affected areas. Jat community protesters demanding more government jobs seized the Munak canal, the city's main water source on Friday. Sixteen people have been killed and hundreds hurt in three days of riots. The Munak canal supplies around three-fifths of water to Delhi's 16 million residents. Mr Chandra said that prior warnings meant that people had managed to save water, and tankers had been dispatched to affected areas of the city, but that this would not be enough to make up for the shortfall."

[CN: Bigotry] Get me to a fainting couch: "Women, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, and those from ethnic minority backgrounds are suffering under an 'epidemic of invisibility' in Hollywood, according to a damning new report on diversity released days before the 2016 Oscars. Study authors said US film and television production was experiencing an ongoing 'inclusion crisis.' The report by the Media, Diversity, and Social Change Initiative at the University of Southern California's (USC) Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism found that 87% of directors across 414 studied films and television shows were white. About half of these failed to include a single Asian or Asian-American character, and one fifth failed to include a single black character. ...Only a third of speaking characters across the studied films and television shows were female, and only 28.3% were from ethnic minority backgrounds, around 10% less than the relevant figure among the general US population. Older characters were even more likely to be male, with only 25.7% of those over 40 being female. Just 2% of speaking characters identified as LGBT. Among the most damning statistics, only 3.4% of the 109 films released by major studios in 2014 were directed by women, and only two were black women."

On a totally different note: Congratulations to Paul Feig on being awarded the Athena Film Festival's inaugural Leading Man Award, for his commitment to writing great roles for women. And a diversity of women, at that. Ghostbuster Kate McKinnon presented him with the award, saying, in part: "Paul's heartfelt and hilarious films have no political agenda …His true subversion lies in creating female protagonists who are striving for the universal goals of friendship, connectedness, justice, and personal growth. These golden fleeces have always been the sole province of male protagonists. They don't call it an everyman for nothing. By building stories around female protagonists who are striving not for romance but simply to become their best selves, he has permanently changed the game for us all." This is why I love Paul Feig. (Well, that and the fact that he retroactively ruins men's childhoods, giving me a sustainable supply of male tears.) I can't overstate how much it means to me he writes parts for fat women where we aren't tragic or nothing but punchlines.

And finally! I love this so much: "Shelter Dog Photobooth Pics Helps More Pups Find Forever Homes." Awwww. ♥

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