Here is some stuff in the news today...
[Content Note: War on agency; reproductive coercion] This is a must-read piece by Sharona Coutts at Rewire: "A Rewire investigation has found that at the center of the drama that unfolded in AJ's life was a document produced by Life Dynamics, the prominent anti-choice group that is based in Denton, Texas, which receives the majority of its funding from the fracking billionaires Dan and Farris Wilks. The Wilks brothers are also the main backers of Sen. Ted Cruz's presidential campaign. The document is a bogus 'notice' that tricks women into believing they have signed away their legal rights to receive an abortion. Providers throughout the country have told Rewire that this document has been used for years to deceive and intimidate both patients and providers by threatening them with legal action should they go through with obtaining or providing an abortion. In AJ's case, the tactic did not work. But her story is an illustration of the intrusive and dishonest techniques used by anti-choice activists to deprive women of their constitutional rights." Fucking hell.
[CN: Racism; police brutality] Goddammit: "A Minneapolis county attorney has decided not to press charges against two officers involved in the shooting of unarmed black man Jamar Clark in November 2015. Clark, 24, was shot by police in November following an altercation with two officers just yards from the precinct headquarters, and died a day later from his injuries. Police said that he was shot during a struggle, but some eyewitnesses said he was already in handcuffs. Family members later described the shooting as 'execution-style.' However, county attorney Michael Freeman said that the evidence did not suggest Clark was handcuffed at the time of his shooting, and that he was reaching for one of the officers' gun at the time. He also said that Clark told the officers: 'I am ready to die.'"
[CN: Policing] "The 74's Matt Barnum examined public records for the nation's ten largest school districts to uncover one important statistic: the ratio of counselors to security personnel. What he found sheds light on where the districts—each of which counts students of color as the majority—choose to invest their time and funds. Of the largest five districts, three have more officers than counselors. They are New York City, Chicago, and Miami-Dade. When the scope is widened to the top ten, four fall into the same category." Emphasis mine.
Last night at the Republican townhall, all three remaining candidates "stepped back from their earlier pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee during Tuesday night's CNN town hall." Welp!
[CN: Sexual assault; racism] Yesterday at a Trump rally in Wisconsin, a 15-year-old girl "was groped and then pepper sprayed in the face after pushing away her assailant... A vibrant orange spray of oleoresin capsicum blasted the girl in the face after she shoved a man who was packed among dozens of pro-Trump supporters shouting 'All Lives Matters' outside the Janesville event Tuesday. Janesville cops believe the pepper sprayer was a bearded man with glasses wearing a 'Make America Great Again' hat seen in video footage. ...No suspect information was immediately available as of early Tuesday, but authorities were seeking two men, one sought for the alleged sexual assault and the other accused of spraying the girl's face." That would be on the same day Trump was using rape apologia to defend his campaign manager on charges of gendered violence. Not incidentally.
Meanwhile, Trump is on the cover of People magazine, and insists "I'm a much nicer person than people would think." Yeah, I doubt that.
[CN: Misogyny] Another one by me at Blue Nation Review: "Zombie Frame: The False Narrative of Hillary's 'Enthusiasm Gap' Just Won't Die." To continue stating this false narrative is not only unfair to Clinton, but does a grave disservice to her supporters, whose enthusiastic support is being invisibilized. Many of these voters are from communities most likely to be disenfranchised at the polls, and now the media is adding insult to injury by rhetorical disenfranchising them. It really, really needs to stop.
In other Clinton news: "Beyoncé Gets a Surprise Visit from Hillary Clinton While Filming New Music Video." OMG!
In news we all know, but here are the numbers: "It's Really Hard to Get Bernie Sanders 988 More Delegates."
[NB: Not all men have penises. Not all people with penises are men.] "Finally! Reversible male birth control! All guys have to do is get an injection in their peni— yeah, this is never happening. The option, however, will soon be available for men who want to bear some of the responsibility of internal birth control methods. ...[A]fter years of development, Vasalgel emerged as a viable male birth control that, once injected into the penis, blocks sperm from leaving through the vas deferens. The gel essentially creates a temporary, painless vasectomy."
[CN: Misogyny; abuse] This article about what it was like for Meryl Streep working on Kramer vs. Kramer is fucking incredible. Dustin Hoffman seems like a real piece of work. And by "real piece of work," I mean abusive shithead.
RIP Patty Duke: "Patty Duke, who won a supporting actress Oscar playing Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker, starred in 1960s sitcom The Patty Duke Show, and served as president of SAG, died Tuesday. She was 69. Her manager, Mitchell Stubbs, confirmed that she died early Tuesday of sepsis from a ruptured intestine. 'She was a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a mental health advocate, and a cultural icon. She will be greatly missed,' Stubbs said."
"On March 17, Gerrit Kernbauer, an amateur astronomer in Mödling, Austria, was taking video of Jupiter using a 20 cm telescope. This is a common technique to capture thousands of frames of an object, so that the best parts of each frame can be teased out to create a high-resolution image, removing the distorting effects of the atmosphere. But he got more than he expected. At 00:18:33 UTC he captured what looks very much like the impact of a small comet or asteroid into Jupiter!" Ouch!
And finally! I love this: "What Are Cats Trying to Tell Us? Science Will Explain."