The Virtual Pub Is Open

image of a pub Photoshopped to be named 'The Shakesville Arms'
[Explanations: lol your fat. pathetic anger bread. hey your gay.]

TFIF, Shakers!

Belly up to the bar,
and name your poison!

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

[Content Note: There is some strobe-effect animation in this video.]

Rebecca Black: "Friday"

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The Friday Blogaround

This blogaround brought to you by flowers.

Recommended Reading:

Samantha: An Open Letter to My Nieces, Who Are Currently Fighting Over a Dude

Andrea: [CN: Rape culture; rape apologia; sexual assault; transphobia] Can the GOP Protect Us from Johnny Football and Dennis Hastert?

Jenn: [CN: Racism] All Californians Deserve to Be Counted: Why Data Disaggregation Matters for AAPIs

Jef: Bernie Sanders Doesn't Level Grind and That's Why He Should Lose

Rebecca: [CN: Misogyny; abuse; reproductive coercion; ageism] Toward a New Theory of the Bad Dad and Husband

Jacqui: [CN: White privilege] Bump Your "Becky" Beef

Cheryl: [CN: Misogyny] The Woman Who Discovered DNA's Double Helix May Get a Much-Deserved Biopic

Keith: [CN: Economic insecurity] Cop Buys Man a Carseat For His Daughter Instead of Giving Him a Ticket

Leave your links and recommendations in comments. Self-promotion welcome and encouraged!

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Sophie the Torbie Cat lying on the back of the couch, asleep, with her paw on my shoulder
Sophs, asleep, with her tiny paw on my shoulder.

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

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Hey, remember when I was complaining about a candidate ignoring the AAPI (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders) population in California? You probably do, since it was just yesterday!

The AAPI community is largely ignored in the wider political conversation, so it's extremely frustrating when candidates have an opportunity to reach out to them and respond with a shrug.

It's also extremely exciting and happy-making when they don't!

"Clinton Sole Presidential Hopeful to Attend Asian-American Forum, Joining Obama."

Democrat Hillary Clinton is the only presidential contender scheduled to attend a reception next week organized by a leading political association of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders as she seeks to consolidate her support from minority voters.

The Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies Leadership Network, a nonpartisan group that seeks to get Asian Americans elected to political office, said on Wednesday that it had invited all presidential hopefuls to the event in Washington, but Clinton was the only one to accept.

..."We are a vote that is becoming increasingly powerful," said Rep. Judy Chu, a Democrat in Congress representing California, who will introduce Clinton at the event. "In this election we are the swing vote in the swing states," Chu said, pointing to Virginia and Nevada.

...Clinton will be joining President Barack Obama, who is scheduled to make the keynote address at the event.

This is exactly the kind of outreach I want my president to be doing and the inclusively I want my president to be modeling. I'm glad the current president is attending this event, and I'm glad my future (fingers crossed!) president is attending, too.

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In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: War; death] "A US air strike that destroyed a medical charity's clinic in northern Afghanistan, killing 42 people, was not a war crime, the Pentagon has said. Announcing disciplinary charges against 16 US service personnel, General Joseph Votel said the 'tragic strike' was due to human and technical errors. The gunship mistook the hospital at Kunduz—run by the group Medecins sans Frontieres [Doctors Without Borders]—for a building that had been seized by Taliban fighters. No one will face criminal charges. But as the error was 'unintentional,' it did not constitute a war crime, Gen Votel said. Instead, those punished were hit with measures such as suspension from command and letters of reprimand, which could have career-ending effects." Welp.

In news that you knew, but here is the proof: "What Happens When You Elect Women, According to Science." Spoiler Alert: It's better for women! And everyone!

[CN: Guns] "President Obama on Friday announced new efforts to speed up development of so-called smart guns, the latest step in his final-year push to reduce gun violence. Smart guns are weapons that use technological safety features designed to prevent accidental shootings, such as fingerprint activation that allows only designated users to fire the gun. The Obama administration is developing guidelines so that gun manufacturers understand how they can meet law enforcement agencies' needs for smart guns. The Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security are expected to complete the guidance in October, according to a new interagency report published Friday." Smart guns still doesn't help the problem of not-smart (or, more importantly, not-decent) people using them.

[CN: Misogynoir] Geneva Reed-Veal, Sandra Bland's mother, who has been campaigning with Hillary Clinton, spoke at a symposium held by the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls, "titled 'Barriers and Pathways to Success for Black Women and Girls,' which examined the current state of its constituents." Reed-Veal's speech was powerful, and you can watch video of it at Colorlines. Reed-Veal and all the other Mothers of the Movement are amazing. I recognize in their words that they're not superheroes; they need this movement and they need to part of it and leaders of it, in order to survive. Their fortitude has been obliged by sorrow, and I don't want to elide that with some dehumanizing commentary on their courage, when doing what one needs to survive isn't necessarily courageous as much as it just straight-up necessary. But they are amazing. And I deeply admire their tenacity and public vulnerability.

[CN: Disenfranchisement] Grumble: "The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday rejected a bid to block a controversial Texas law that requires voters to show identification before voting, but left the door open to a renewed challenge before the November elections. The court denied a request filed by opponents of the law, including individual Texas voters, who say the law is not needed and disproportionately affects older and poorer voters, including minorities, who are less likely to have identification papers. The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is due to rehear the case on May 24. The high court's order said if the lower court has not acted on the case by July 20, then the opponents could renew their application to block the law ahead of the elections."

[CN: Homophobia; transphobia] "Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (R) has approved a law that allows counselors and therapists in the state to reject clients based on the professionals' 'sincerely held' principles, including their religious beliefs. Signed by Haslam on Wednesday, the legislation grants licensed counselors and therapists the permission to turn away clients whose 'goals, outcomes, or behaviors' conflict with the counselor's values. The legislation shields the practitioners from civil lawsuits and criminal prosecution. The GOP-backed measure requires counselors and therapists to coordinate a referral to another professional and does not apply in cases where clients seeking treatment are 'in imminent danger of harming themselves or others.' Counselors in Tennessee can already refer patients to other counselors 'if counselors lack the competence to be of professional assistance to clients.' The law's verbiage initially included the phrase 'sincerely held religious beliefs,' but Tennessee state senators ultimately approved a house amendment that changed the bill's language to 'sincerely held principles.'" Obviously, this could have far-reaching consequences: Though the LGBT community is likely to be most affected, feminist women and atheists and adherents to minority religions and people in mixed-race relationships, as but a few examples, could also be turned away.

"U.S. Senate hopeful Russ Feingold refused to say Thursday whether he voted for Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders in Wisconsin's Democratic presidential primary earlier this month, but he suggested that Sanders should start thinking about dropping out of the race. Feingold made the comments during a question-and-answer session with reporters following an appearance at a Madison club. He said talking about his vote would do no good since his goal is bring both candidates' supporters together. He also stressed that his ballot was secret. 'I'm not saying and I didn't even tell my wife,' Feingold said. 'I have a lot of admiration for both candidates. I see nothing positive about talking about my secret ballot.'" Seems perfectly reasonable. So what is the headline of this news item? "Feingold refuses to say if he voted for Clinton."

Yay! "Colombia's Constitutional Court has given final approval to same-sex marriage in the country and weddings could start very soon." Congratulations, Colombia!

Well, this is definitely my favorite headline of the day: "The biggest scientific instrument in the world was brought down by a tiny weasel." The Large Hadron Collider will be out of commission "for at least a week because a weasel chewed into a 66kV transformer near LHCb, causing an LHC-wide power cut."

[CN: Animal injury/death] And finally! "Rescue Hummingbird Won't Leave the Dog Who Saved Her Life: So strange, but amazing. I rescue this dog. He rescues the bird. The bird rescues all of us in a weird sense and it's just a miracle." ♥

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Another Talking Point Bites the Dust

I've got a new piece up at BNR on how Bernie Sanders' last talking point and excuse for not winning—closed primaries—has been discredited:

The latest talking point Bernie Sanders, his staff, and his surrogates have been peddling to try to explain why he's lost, to try to claim the system is rigged, and to try to delegitimize Hillary Clinton's victory, is that closed primaries are undemocratic—and that if Independent voters had been allowed to participate, he would have won.

Vox crunched the numbers and it turns out that, while Bernie's fortunes would have been slightly better had Independents been able to participate in the small number of closed primaries so far, he "would have won 41 more delegates than he currently has. Clinton is currently leading Sanders by 293 delegates (without even counting the superdelegates)."

Meanwhile, FiveThirtyEight compares the Republican Primary rules with the Democratic Primary rules, and finds that Hillary's pledged delegate lead would triple under the GOP rules: "The Democrats' delegate allocation rules are more 'fair' than the GOP's rules in the sense that vote shares are translated into delegate shares more faithfully and uniformly… If the Democrats used Republican allocation, Clinton would have wrapped up the nomination long, long ago."
I had much more to say (I know you're shocked), so click through to read the whole thing!

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"Hillary could be the greatest President of this century."

This is just a superb "Get to Know Hillary" piece: "The Quick Startup Guide to Hillary." There's so much great information there: I bet even those of us who have long immersed ourselves in Hillary Clinton's career will find things we hadn't heard before (or had forgotten).

It's a handy piece to have to send to someone who's curious about Clinton, or who is dead wrong about her (if they'll actually read it). And it's just straight-up pleasurable reading if you're already a supporter.

So go read it!

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Yemen: The Forgotten War

by Shaker Transcendental Moose

[Content Note: War; violence.]

I am an American whose work looks closely at Yemen and the rest of the Arabian Peninsula. Since early last year, Yemen has been in a civil war that easily rivals the devastation in Syria, but coverage of the war in the States has not been thorough, and I've discovered lots of people are completely unaware of what's happening there. The situation is complicated and violent, no side comes off as a shining hero, and Yemen is the poorest country on the Peninsula, so it's not especially surprising that the media hasn't bothered looking at it much.

But it's important to me to do some awareness-raising around what's happening in Yemen for my fellow citizens, because the situation for ordinary Yemenis is deplorable. Yemen is, on one hand, a proxy war for Saudi Arabia and Iran; within Yemen, the lines fracture between Shia and Sunni Muslims for the moment. On one side, Iran is purportedly supporting Yemen's former president (deposed during the Arab Spring) and a rebel group called the Huthis; on the other, the internationally recognized president is backed by the Saudis, who have been conducting airstrikes in Yemen since March of last year. The airstrikes have killed hundreds if not thousands of innocent civilians—oh, and the U.S. and U.K. are supplying them with weapons and not saying a peep about the civilian deaths.

All of this is happening under our radar, because of the sparse coverage in Western media—which is largely (though not exclusively) attributable to Yemen's poor oil reserves and its status as a "backwater," even among its neighbors. For Westerners, it's easy to get in the mindset that the Middle East is a monolith, a vast desert of indistinguishable peoples more or less at constant war with each other, while extravagant royals laugh from atop their oil-funded thrones. So it's no surprise at all that Yemen's civil war and threatened collapse hasn't warranted much notice in the west. It fits the narrative; it doesn't raise eyebrows.

Yemen wasn't always at war, of course. Going back to ancient times, the land was known as Felix Arabia—"happy Arabia." It was a bustling land of trade and culture. The name "mocha," as in the coffee beverage, comes from one of Yemen's ports. And the capital city of Sana'a, which looks like a fairy-tale city of gingerbread houses, is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in human history.

However, modern history has not been kind to the country, which had been divided as North Yemen and South Yemen until 1990. When the Arab Spring pushed out Yemen's president of over 30 years (president of North Yemen until unification), the country teetered on the brink of instability. When the Saudis showed up to bomb the Yemenis into submission, it tipped over the edge and careened into civil war.

The situation in Yemen is complicated. It's one of the reasons Yemen lurks in obscurity, because the nuances are difficult to pull out for a quick soundbite. Even John Oliver's [CN: video autoplays] coverage last year didn't last more than a few minutes and only touched on the barest of surface level conflicts—which is still more than most media outlets can say.

For the most part, Western media doesn't have much taste for political complexity, particularly when it is so outside of our sphere of caring. If we can't be bothered to learn about the intricacies of Syria before US presidential candidates suggest we carpet bomb the entire country of millions, then we certainly won't do more than a cursory glance at Yemen, perhaps just to find out where it is on a map.

You could say it started—insofar as situations like these have any sort of discrete beginning—when former president Saleh teamed up with a rebel group called the Huthis (against whom he fought six wars when he was in power—internecine fighting amongst Yemeni groups is common in a nation which has rarely been unified, and often carved and divvied up by imperial powers). Saleh and the Huthis, in northwestern Yemen, are Shia, while most of the rest of the country is Sunni; the sectarian divide, which used to be far less than it is today, has deepened into a chasm.

In the South, the internationally-recognized President Hadi is struggling to unite hundreds of individual militias, a government on the verge of collapse, and a movement of Southern Secessionists to fight the Huthi rebellion, which has taken over most of the historic North Yemen. "Unity" at the moment only exists as long as each side has a common enemy; the differences between the groups can only be put aside while there is a strong enough Other to fight.

Aside from its internal divisions, Yemen is the site of a proxy war between Iran, widely perceived as supporting the Huthis, and Saudi Arabia, which is propping up Hadi and targeting the Huthis to counter Iran's influence. To this end, Saudi Arabia has been conducting a disastrous airstrike campaign for the last year, ironically named "Operation Restoring Hope." Hundreds if not thousands of innocent civilians have died in these airstrikes. Children in Yemen are growing up playing "1, 2, 3 airstrike."

And here's the part westerners should really care about: The US and UK are providing arms and advisement for these operations, including cluster bombs—an enormous human rights violation the world has mainly managed to ignore.

To make matters worse, the political instability has tilled and composted the perfect soil for Islamic terrorism to grow. Yemen is home to one of the most dangerous branches of al Qaeda: al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP.

As a historical note, AQAP was the group responsible for the underwear bomber and the printer cartridge bombs in 2009 and 2010 and claimed responsibility for the Charlie Hebdo attack in January 2015. Their leaders have consistently called for attacks against the US, the West, and the Saudi Arabian government. And they've taken advantage of all the chaos in Yemen to literally take over swathes of territory. Now it's not just Islamic State in Iraq and Syria we have to worry about as a proto-state in the Middle East—although IS has a budding affiliate in Yemen as well, which has conducted attacks killing hundreds of people.

AQAP has tried to control territory before, but back in 2011-2012, there was at least enough of a government to manage a capable counterterrorism operation. Until a few days ago, the only such counterterrorism operations have been comprised solely of U.S. drone strikes.

Killing civilians in US drone strikes has similar effects on the local population as killing civilians anywhere else—it foments resentment and hatred against the country dropping the drones.

AQAP has used the unrest to control areas of Yemen the government has had historically little involvement in, and they're doing their best to win over the hearts and minds of the populace: digging wells, building bridges, repairing roads, and providing humanitarian assistance. Part of why they've been able to manage what the Yemeni government can't is that their control over one of Yemen's largest port cities yields them as much as $2 million USD per day from extorted port tariffs—plenty of money to not only provide services to the public, but also to pay fighters and fund terrorist attacks.

And lest you be thinking, like many Yemenis, that some government, even by al Qaeda, is better than no government at all, it's worth pointing out that al Qaeda's strict interpretation of Islamic law involves publically stoning adultresses, for example, and declaring Shia Muslims fair game for targeting. The group is also responsible for an epidemic of assassinations of government figures in southern Yemen's capital city of Aden.

A recent operation launched by the UAE is attempting to clear out AQAP from their port city strongholds, but historically, AQAP has excelled in scattering under pressure and regrouping as soon as their adversaries turn aside and focus on other things. With such swollen coffers and a dramatically successful year behind them, AQAP will almost certainly remain resilient in the face of the pressure they're likely to face.

The human cost of Yemen's civil war is devastating. 21.2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, and over 14 million are food insecure. The country has its toes on the very edge of outright famine. Around 6000 people have died, over 2500 of them civilians, many of them children. Hospitals have been struck by Saudi bombs; cities have been beseiged by the Huthis; the Saudi-led coalition has blockaded Huthi-held ports, and everywhere people are suffering.

Yemen relies on importation for most of its food requirements, and as a result of the war, starvation is rampant, and not just among the humans—as animals are starving, too. "Yemen after five months," said the head of the International Red Cross Peter Maurer in August, "looks like Syria after five years."

There's no easy solution to Yemen. Even if one side, North or South, wins a decisive military victory, that side's component factions will probably fall to fighting each other. While peace talks and a tenuous ceasefire are ongoing, neither side is coming to the negotiating table in good faith, because neither side perceives themselves as losing. And the proxy war between the Saudis and the Iranians is not likely to drop off anytime soon.

But the West needs to be held accountable for its quiet collaboration in this war. And even more importantly, the West needs to be held accountable for its silence and apathy.

If we close our eyes and let ourselves forget this war, the human cost will be even more staggering.

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Oh, Team Bernie

[Content Note: Misogyny.]

Two things I read late yesterday:

1. In a New York Times piece about Bernie Sanders laying off campaign workers:

"If we can win the largest state in this country, that will send a real message to the American people," Mr. Sanders said, "and to the delegates that this is a campaign that is moving in the direction it should."
It's pretty cool how winning California (which he likely won't do anyway) should "send a real message," but Hillary Clinton being 300+ ahead in pledged delegates and having earned 3,167,708 more votes apparently shouldn't send any kind of message. Noted.

2. Jane Sanders meanwhile headed over to Fox Business Channel (perfect) to gripe about how unfair the Democratic nominating process is and agree with Donald Trump:
In an interview with Fox Business on Thursday, Jane Sanders conceded that [Trump] had a point when he said Wednesday that the Vermont senator "has been very effective" against Hillary Clinton but has also "been treated very badly by the Democrats and by the Democratic Party."

..."Now, Donald Trump has a point. The electoral process, the way it's conducted now, in both parties, is not good," she told Fox Business' Neil Cavuto. "It's not Democratic. It's not smart."

She argued that there should be more open primaries to allow independents to vote and same-day registration to boost voter participation. The Democratic primary "would be very different" if more independents could vote, she said.

..."It doesn't seem fair that superdelegates can play such an outsized role. We learned in a democracy it's one person one vote — evidently not in the primary system," Jane Sanders said, likening superdelegates to "an insurance policy for the establishment that they can [use to] make sure that the primary doesn't go awry."
YES THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPERDELEGATES ARE. And, by the way, if Bernie Sanders were winning, the superdelegates would be switching their support to him, just like they did in 2008.

They're a line of last resort to prevent some wild-ass candidate who is profoundly out of alignment with the party's platform from hijacking the nomination. And the first line of defense is closed primaries. Because, yes, the Democratic primary would indeed "be very different" if independents and Republicans could weigh in on who the Democratic nominee should be.

Sanders is not profoundly out of alignment with the party's platform. That's why they let him run as a Democrat! If he were winning, the superdelegates would back him. He's not. This isn't about trying to keep him out; it's about the fact that he hasn't run the strongest campaign.

And it's not like this shit is new. It's a little bit rich for the Sanders to be complaining about how "unfair" the Democratic system is when Bernie switched to the Democratic Party explicitly to exploit that system and its attendant infrastructure.

If you didn't like the rules, there was a simple solution to that: Run as an Independent.

The reason Bernie Sanders didn't do that is because it would have been even more difficult for him to win. Every decision has been made to give him the best chance of winning, and now they're mad because he hasn't won. Well, too fucking bad. That's the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.

It's not some grand conspiracy. It's the most basic story in politics: Someone wins and someone loses. The end.

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Open Thread

image of a freshly mulched front garden

Hosted by mulch.

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Question of the Day

What part of your home is the least frequented? Is there a room you just never go into? A basement that you avoid? A guest room that you forget is there until you have a guest? A closet that you don't open just so you won't be reminded of the mess it contains? A chair in a corner in which no one ever sits?

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

[Content Note: There are some flashing light in this video.]

Journey: "Faithfully"

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Quote of the Day

[Content Note: Privilege.]

"Hi Bernie Supporters. I'm writing to not just ask, but beg you to vote for Hillary in the General Election. ...The #NeverHillary crowd is incredibly privileged. A Trump Presidency would be a minor annoyance to white, middle-class, college educated progressives. ...To my community a Trump Presidency is an existential threat. Millions of Latino families will be torn apart. Muslim citizens would have their freedom of movement eliminated. ...If you really care about the future of the movement, you need to vote for Hillary to prevent Trump."—Anthony Flores, in a terrific piece, "Bernie Supporters: People of Color Need You to Vote for Hillary. And You're Going to Need Us."

As an aside, I think he (inadvertently) sounds a little cavalier about abortion access, when he says it's protected by Roe v. Wade, which elides the decimation of access on the state level. But he's right in the sense that abortion access will always be available to the people to whom he's writing this letter. It's the people on whose behalf he's writing it that most stand to risk further erosion of their reproductive rights, so, really, it's just another reason that the people at whom it's directed need to support Hillary Clinton, if they really care about people of color. As they have been insistently purporting.

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What the F@#k Is This Article?!

[Content Note: Misogyny; racism; dehumanization.]

Apparently not content with containing their misogyny to Hillary Clinton, Newsweek has published a profile of her chief aide, Huma Abedin—or, rather, what reads a lot more like a hit piece on both Abedin and Clinton, masquerading as a profile.

There is a whole lot to deconstruct here, and I'll leave it to you to tease out every shred of indecency in comments, but I just want to note some of the things that Newsweek evidently believe are okay things to say about a Muslim woman of color:

* "For most of the past 20 years, Huma Mahmood Abedin, now a vice chair of Hillary Clinton's campaign, has served as Clinton's 'body-woman'—basically a glorified lady's maid."

* "The perpetually lipsticked and soigné Abedin is elegant and gentle—qualities Clinton sometimes lacks—but also relentlessly obedient, a quality her boss treasures." (OBEDIENT. IS SHE A DOG?)

* "selfless servility"

* "She does some bag-schlepping, but her job has evolved: She carries her own purse (she has a collection of designer 'it' bags)."

* "Like her boss, Abedin has mastered the steely glare"

* "But after a career of being seen but not heard..." (OH COOL SHE'S BEEN UPGRADED FROM A DOG TO A CHILD)

* "From the wounded master who taught her everything she knows, she has learned that to be candid is to be crucified."

I mean. Wow.

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Daily Dose of Cute

This is Dudley's subtle way of letting me know he'd like me to stop watching CNN and serve up his dinner now, please.

Video Description: Dudley the Greyhound stands at the far end of the dining room, looking at me. He does a dramatic play-bow, scratching at the floor, then spins in a circle. "What are you doing?!" I ask him with mock outrage. His ears go up. "What do you think you're doing, Dudley?" He stares at me. "What a goofball." He spins in a circle then gallops toward me. Spins! Gallops halfway back! Spins! Comes toward me! Gallops all the way back to the far side of the room. Stands and stares at me. "What a goofball!" He gallops back, pivots, gallops away again. Back and forth, back and forth. Matilda the Cat, sitting on a dining room chair, watches him go back and forth, her head turning like she's viewing a high-speed tennis match.

"Dramatic!" I tell him. He spins in a circle. "Dramatic dog." One ear goes up. "Do you want a little bone?" I ask him. ("Little bone" is what we call dog biscuits at Shakes Manor.) He gallops toward me, then races back and forth some more. Zelda comes into frame and sits beside me. When he comes back toward us, she play-bows at him. He runs away. "Go get him, Zelly!" I say. She runs the other direction, trying to entice him to chase her. But he is a greyhound on a mission.

Back and forth. He gallops back toward me then comes to a stop, panting, his tongue lolling out of his mouth. He looks at me then takes off again.

* * *

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

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"If Hillary were a man, she would not be the same person she is."

[Content Note: Misogyny.]

I've got a new essay up at BNR on Donald Trump's imagining away Hillary Clinton's womanhood:

After both of them solidified their places as their respective parties' nominees, Donald Trump used his victory speech to go after Hillary Clinton: "Frankly," he mused, "if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don't think she'd get 5 percent of the vote."

There's a lot wrong with that statement, not least of which is the embedded implication that being a woman is somehow beneficial in US politics—though the low percentages of women at every level and in every branch of government certainly does not bear that out, not to mention the little fact of our never having elected a female president.

But the most significant, if less obvious, problem with his statement is that it presupposes if Hillary were a man, she'd be the same person she is now—just with a different gender.

And that is fundamentally false, representing Trump's incomprehension of—or indifference to—how culture works. We do not grow up in a vacuum, but are socialized within a context steeped in oppressions that shape us.
Click on through to read the whole thing!

I may literally write my actual damn fingers off by the end of this election. But I swear to the fates that I will not let up on calling out Trump on his misogyny and defending Clinton against misogyny when there is so much at stake in this election.

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In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Misogyny] Former Speaker of the House John Boehner has some cool stuff to say about Ted Cruz: "Lucifer in the flesh. I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life." Yikes! LOL. During the same talk, he also went down the "woman card" route on Hillary Clinton, to a decided lack of enthusiasm: "On Clinton, Boehner's reviews were more mixed. Early in the talk, the speaker impersonated Clinton, saying 'Oh I'm a woman, vote for me,' to a negative crowd reaction. Later, he added that he had known Clinton for 25 years and finds her to be very accomplished and smart." Interesting, isn't it? Cruz's own colleagues can't find a single nice thing to say about him, but it's Hillary Clinton who's supposed to be the "unlikeable" one in this race. Even though people at a Boehner speaking event like her enough that they don't appreciate his mocking her. Huh.

Whooooooooooops! "Sanders is biggest spender of 2016 so far—generating millions for consultants." Wasn't there a candidate whose platform was centered around getting money out of politics? I was sure there was... "Sanders's money blitz, fueled by a $27 average donation that he repeatedly touts, has improbably made the anti-billionaire populist the biggest spender so far in the election cycle. The campaign's wealth has been a surprising boon for vendors across the county who signed on to his long-shot bid. The large profits stem in part from the fact that no one in Sanders's campaign imagined he would generate such enormous financial support. So unlike Clinton, he did not cap how much his consultants could earn in commissions from what was expected to be a bare-bones operation, according to campaign officials." Another perfect example of why it's not a good idea to put goofballs in charge of your national presidential campaign.

(I'll also point out that Sanders spending the most money disproves his own thesis. Money doesn't actually buy elections. He's losing. That's not, by the way, an argument against campaign finance reform. It's just an observation that money isn't everything. You still have to be the best candidate to win.)

[CN: Warmongering] "President Trump fills world leaders with fear: 'It's gone from funny to really scary.' Most of the world seems to agree a Donald Trump presidency is a disturbing possibility that would inflict unthinkable damage, Guardian reporters found." The world is understandably in disbelief that the US could even consider voting for this asshole. (P.S. It was never "funny.")

Meanwhile, at home: "Registration among Hispanic voters is skyrocketing in a presidential election cycle dominated by Donald Trump and loud GOP cries to close the border. Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Elected and Appointed Officials, projects 13.1 million Hispanics will vote nationwide in 2016, compared to 11.2 million in 2012 and 9.7 million in 2008. Many of those new Hispanic voters are also expected to vote against Trump if he is the Republican nominee, something that appears much more likely after the front-runner's sweeping primary victories Tuesday in five East Coast states. A whopping 80 percent of respondents in a poll of registered Hispanic voters in Colorado and Nevada said Trump's views on immigration made them less likely to vote for Republicans in November. In Florida, that number was 68 percent." I'm very excited that so many new Latinx voters are enrolling! But I wish it was only because they had something great to vote for, and not because they were scared that Trump will fuck their entire lives.

[CN: Misogyny; rape culture] In other Terrible Trumpery: Trump held a rally in Indianapolis yesterday, and got former Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight to introduce him. If you're not familiar with Knight, he's a nightmare monster human who abused his players and had a massive anger management problem. Oh, and he loves saying shitty stuff about rape. While he introduced Trump, a guy was positioned directly behind him (campaigns are very involved in who is seated behind the podium at broadcast events) wearing a "Hillary for Prison" shirt. And once Trump came onstage, among his usual garbage fare, he bragged about having been endorsed by Mike Tyson, who was convincted of rape in Indiana. So, all around terrific event, basically.

And still more: Former cable host Campbell Brown says she blames TV for Trump. (Hey, so do I!) "My friends in the TV news business are in a state of despair about Donald Trump, even as their bosses in the boardroom are giddy over what he's doing for their once sagging ratings. 'It feels like it's over,' one old friend from my television days told me recently. Any hope of practicing real journalism on TV is really, finally finished. 'Look, we’ve always done a lot of stupid shit to get ratings. But now it's like we've just given up and literally handed over control hoping he'll save us. It's pathetic, and I feel like hell.' Said another friend covering the presidential campaign for cable news, 'I am swilling antidepressants trying to figure out what to do with my life when this is over.'"

[CN: Transphobia] GODDAMMIT: "On Tuesday night, the City Council of Oxford, Alabama unanimously approved a new ordinance that will punish individuals for using restrooms that do not match their biological sex as stated on their birth certificate. The policy is a direct response to Target indicating that trans people are welcome and will be respected in their stores. ...Anywhere within the city's police jurisdiction, it is now a criminal offense for transgender people to use restrooms that match their gender identity unless they have undergone surgery and successfully changed the gender marker on their birth certificate. Each individual violation will result in a $500 fine or up to six months in jail." I am just incandescently angry about this. I trust it won't survive a court challenge, but this is just unfathomably cruel in the meantime. JFC.

[CN: Police brutality; racism; guns] "A Baltimore police detective shot [14-year-old Dedric Colvin] in East Baltimore on Wednesday afternoon who he wrongly believed was carrying a semiautomatic pistol, Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said. The boy suffered what police called non-life-threatening injuries to a 'lower extremity,' Davis said. The weapon turned out to be spring-air-powered BB gun—not a real firearm." So, like Tamir Rice, Dedric Colvin was playing with a toy gun. Plainclothes police officers spotted him, confronted him, he ran, they chased him, he told them it was a fake gun, and then they shot him. And then Colvin's mother was taken in for questioning. Thank Maude he was not killed. Naturally, the police are already victim-blaming, because of course they are.

[CN: Police brutality; racism] Meanwhile, in Oklahoma: "A jury found a sheriff's deputy guilty of second-degree manslaughter Wednesday in the fatal shooting of an unarmed suspect. Robert Bates, who was a volunteer reserve sheriff deputy for the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office last year at the time of the shooting, never denied shooting Eric Courtney Harris. Bates, 74, said he meant to use his Taser stun gun, not his revolver, on the suspect, who had been tackled by other deputies and was being held on the ground. The jury deliberated less than three hours and recommended Bates serve four years in prison, the maximum possible sentence. Preliminary sentencing is set for May 31."

[CN: Rape culture] Also in Oklahoma: "An Oklahoma court has stunned local prosecutors with a declaration that state law doesn't criminalize oral sex with a victim who is completely unconscious. The ruling, a unanimous decision by the state's criminal appeals court, is sparking outrage among critics who say the judicial system was engaged in victim-blaming and buying outdated notions about rape." Rage seethe boil.

"Women would have to register for the draft under an amendment added to an annual defense bill Wednesday. 'If we want equality in this country, if we want women to be treated precisely like men are treated and that they should not be discriminated against, then we should support a universal conscription,' Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) said. The House Armed Services Committee voted 32-30 to include the amendment in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). ...In 1981, the Supreme Court ruled that women did not have to register for the draft because combat jobs were closed to them. With that reason now moot, some lawmakers have argued women should now register. Others want women to remain exempt, while still others say this is the opportune time to abolish the draft altogether." All or nothing. I have super mixed feelings about the draft, because I don't want anyone drafted, but I also realize that the military is disproportionately staffed by people of color from low-income backgrounds, for whom the military is their best choice. Really, the answer is no more fucking wars. But that ain't up for a vote in the US.

[CN: Fat hatred; misogynoir; colorism] This is so, so good and important: "Bittersweet Like Me: When the Lemonade Ain't Made For Fat Black Women & Femmes." I'm not even going to excerpt it. Just go read the whole thing.

Paul Feig, y'all: "I've had producers lecture me: 'You don't want to get pigeonholed as a women's filmmaker. I'm like, what does that mean? If I did nothing else in my career but work with great women and provide great roles for them I would be very happy."

And finally! Baby Red River Hogs named after Star Wars characters! LOL YAY!

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"Older women know they have value. It’s everyone else who seems to disagree."

[Content Note: Misogyny; ageism.]

I've got a new essay up at BNR on why many older women are enthusiastic about Hillary Clinton:

Older women occupy a very particular space in our culture—a space frequently defined by an abandonment of listening. Rather than valuing the lived experiences of older women, and the wisdom those lives have imparted, we turn away from them, dismissing them as irrelevant; we neglect to listen, just at the moment where they may offer insights most profoundly worth listening to.

In her beautiful essay, "Listening to Old Women," Soraya Chemaly observes: "One day last year, I was thinking about the erasure of aging women in our culture and searched for the term 'venerable women.' I was curious about what images of wise and respected women the world produces. Google's seemingly baffled autocorrect responded, tellingly: 'Do you mean venerable men or vulnerable women?'"

We cast older women aside—and with them, their voices.

So it doesn't surprise me that there hasn't been much interest in exploring older women's support for Hillary, or what it might signify to them.

Women, of course, are not a monolith. Not all women support Hillary, and not all women who do support her do so for the same reasons.

But among the older women who support Hillary—and, depending on your own age, you may count my nearly 41-year-old self among them—are lots and lots of women who see in Hillary Clinton a direct challenge to the habit of tossing away older women, like so much useless rubbish.

Hillary has a voice. And people listen to it. She has experience, which people respect. She has knowledge, and it is widely valued.

This is not the typical experience of older women, who are devalued at the intersection of misogyny and ageism—and whatever other parts of their identity (race, disability, body size, sexuality, gender) are used to devalue us, too.

Witnessing Hillary, an older woman, fight her way to get into the most exclusive boys' club on the planet, and seeing her succeed, inching ever closer, is exciting. And more than that: It's validating.

Because older women know they have value. It's everyone else who seems to disagree.
This is a really long one, and I'm super proud of it, so I hope you will head over to read the whole thing, and I hope you like it!

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An Observation

[Content Note: Gender essentialism; misogyny; transphobia.]

I cannot even deal with the breathtaking heinousness of the Republicans' double-edged gender essentialism. If you're a woman who has a vagina, you vote with it. If you're a woman who doesn't have a vagina, go fuck yourself—use the men's room.

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[Content Note: Racism.]

This morning, Jane Sanders appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe, and was asked how she explains Bernie Sanders' failure to capture more support from people of color. This is how she responded:

I think if he was running against anybody but Hillary Clinton, who was the anointed one, who is the most well-known person that is running for office in this country and in the world— She has a good relationship with the African-American community that goes back decades. So that hurts us, helps her.
Let me first note that the question was not specifically about Black voters; in fact, it was asked about minority communities leading up to the California primary, which clearly includes large Latinx and AAPI (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders) populations.

So, Sanders first of all just ignored them completely, which, you know, might have something to do with the fact that her husband's campaign hasn't caught fire with a majority of voters from those communities.

Secondly, again with this persistent contention from Team Sanders that Black voters aren't thinking hard about their votes, but are just going along with Hillary Clinton because they don't know any better or haven't heard of Bernie Sanders.

Third, calling Clinton "the anointed one" is such gross bullshit.

Just another a day in the Sanders campaign. None of this even surprises me anymore. But I'm still angry about it. For fuck's sake.

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Bernie Sanders isn't dropping out, and he continues to fundraise, but he's laying off hundreds of staffers:

The Vermont senator revealed the changes a day after losing four of the five states that voted Tuesday and falling further behind Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. Despite the changes, Mr. Sanders said he would remain in the race through the party's summer convention and stressed that he hoped to bring staff members back on board if his political fortunes improved.

"We want to win as many delegates as we can, so we do not need workers now in states around the country," Mr. Sanders said in the interview. "We don't need people right now in Connecticut. That election is over. We don't need them in Maryland. So what we are going to do is allocate our resources to the 14 contests that remain, and that means that we are going to be cutting back on staff."

When asked how many people would be let go, Mr. Sanders didn’t give an exact number but did say many people would be affected.

"It will be hundreds of staff members," Mr. Sanders said. "We have had a very large staff, which was designed to deal with 50 states in this country; 40 of the states are now behind us. So we have had a great staff, great people."

He added that he hoped to work with the people his campaign is letting go in the future.

"If we win this, every one of those great people who have helped us get this far, they will be rehired," Mr. Sanders said. "But right now, we have to use all of the resources we have and focus them on the remaining states."

He said his campaign's fund-raising was not suffering. "We are doing well, and it continues to be very strong," he said.
My condolences to the people losing their jobs.

People can do whatever they want with their own money, but Sanders continuing to aggressively fundraise, while indulging this pretense—that many of his supporters believe—that he can still actually win the nomination, which he cannot, strikes me as not entirely ethical.

And he is still saying that: "We are in this campaign to win, but if we do not win, we intend to win every delegate we can, so that when we go to Philadelphia in July we are going to have the votes to put together the strongest progressive agenda that any political party has ever seen."

Meanwhile, his campaign manager Jeff Weaver is still peddling the narrative that they can straight-up win, saying "he still sees a 'mathematical possibility' of catching Clinton, saying Sanders is poised to go on a winning streak and will continue to try to convince the party's superdelegates that he would be the stronger Democratic candidate against Republican front-runner Donald Trump in the fall."

To be clear: At this point, "Sanders would need 107% of remaining delegates at stake in order to win the nomination."

Anyway. Like I said, people can do with their money whatever they want to do with it, but I just wish Sanders would be more honest about the investment they're making.

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Open Thread

image of lots of small, rectangular mirrors

Hosted by mirrors.

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Question of the Day

Who is your favorite female TV character of all time? And how you establish that is up to you: It doesn't necessarily have to be the "most feminist" female character (although it can be!); it could be the female character who best represents your lived experiences, who reminds you of women who are important to you, who feels most familiar to you, who is the funniest, with whom you'd most want to have lunch, who you most aspire to be like, whatever!

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

The Sugarcubes: "Motorcrash"

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Kids Today

Get ON my lawn! Where I will bring you the rehydration beverage of your choice:

A 12-year-old girl in New York has mistakenly run a half-marathon after she confused the start of the race with a five kilometre course she was supposed to be running.

LeeAdianez Rodriguez had registered for the 5km race that was part of last Sunday's Rochester Regional Health Flower City Challenge. She thought she was arriving late at the starting line when the race started, so she began running with the rest of the runners.

She was supposed to run the Wegmans Family 5km, which starts on the same bridge 15 minutes after the distance runners set off.

It turned out she was running with the half-marathoners on the 13.1-mile course and not in the 5km, or 3.1 miles. Rodriguez says she realized about halfway through that she was in the wrong race but decided to finish.

She completed the half-marathon in 2:43:31.
Her mother was very worried, but police found her running the half-marathon. "She just wanted to finish the race," her mom said, adding that LeeAdianez received a medal. ♥

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So, it's official: Ted Cruz, who has zero chance of winning the Republican nomination, has picked Carly Fiorina to be his running mate in the general election, in which he will not be running.

This is truly one of the most stupendously foolish ideas in this entire campaign season, and, I don't have to tell you, that's really saying something.

image of Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina onstage together, smiling and waving

I didn't actually think it was possible for me to want to vote even less for Ted Cruz, but apparently it is!

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The Wednesday Blogaround

This blogaround brought to you by grass trimmings.

Recommended Reading:

Heather: [Content Note: Misogyny] The Lean-In Industry

Sikivu: [CN: Sexual violence; rape apologia; misogynoir] Black Rage, Black Silence, & Sexual Violence

Juliana: Indigenous Movement Stops Construction of Brazilian Mega-Dam

Kiri: [CN: Colonialism; racism] Boris Wasn't Just Attacking Obama's Heritage; He Was Attacking Us All

Angelica: Amandla Stenberg Opens Up About Their Gender Identity

Charline: Is the Use of Mirrors in Films Gendered?

Veronica: [CN: Spoilers] Book Review: The Obsession

Leave your links and recommendations in comments. Self-promotion welcome and encouraged!

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Matilda the Fuzzy Sealpoint Cat sitting under my desk, looking up at me
"Give me things!"

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

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The Media Is Running Against Hillary Clinton, Too

[Content Note: Misogyny.]

I've got a new piece up at BNR about how the media is effectively working with Donald Trump to run against Hillary Clinton (and about how BNR is dedicated to calling it out):

There is much reporting today on Trump's sexist rhetoric during his victory speech (such as it was) last night, including his claim that, were Hillary a man, she wouldn't have gotten 5% of the vote—an incredible assertion embedded with the implication it's somehow easier to be a woman in US politics—and that all she has going for her is the "woman card."

But in most of that reporting, one won't find much analysis of Trump's gendered rhetoric. Indeed, many news outlets will fail to even explicitly identify it as sexism.

...Many on the right will openly champion Trump's sexism. Not so among the corporate media, who resort to more subtle manifestations of the gender barrier: Unflattering photos, discredited tropes about "low enthusiasm" and "likability," diminishing the historical nature of Hillary's candidacy, commentary on her voice and appearance, treating the cost of her haircuts as a news story, highlighting the opinions of women who don't like her, as if women are a monolith.

And the failure to call Trump's sexism exactly what it is. Reporting it without comment, while he turns the presidential election into an epic battle of the sexes.

It will be pervasive, and it will be insidious. And we will be paying attention.
Click through to read the whole thing!

I'm really, really happy and proud to now be part of two teams who unapologetically center women in our coverage of politics, and who consider feminism an integral part of progressivism.

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In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

Bernie Sanders released a statement on yesterday's primary: "I congratulate Secretary Clinton on her victories tonight, and I look forward to issue-oriented campaigns in the 14 contests to come." (I love how he says that like somehow she hasn't been focused on the issues. Note to Senator Sanders: Speech transcripts aren't actually a campaign issue.) He goes on with his new bailiwick: Open primaries. "I am proud that we were able to win a resounding victory tonight in Rhode Island, the one state with an open primary where independents had a say in the outcome. Democrats should recognize that the ticket with the best chance of winning this November must attract support from independents as well as Democrats. I am proud of my campaign's record in that regard." Dude, seriously, the Democratic Party is well aware of that. Closed primaries, whether you agree with them or not, are to make sure that Democratic voters are choosing the Democratic candidate. Because the party needs first and foremost their base to have maximum excitement about the candidate they put forth. It's not a general election. It's a Democratic primary.

Thanks, no doubt, in no small part to Sanders' now infusing his every speech with complaints about the primary process (even though he loves caucuses, which are the least Democratic aspect of it), along with Donald Trump's singing the same refrain, more than half of US voters now "believe that the system U.S. political parties use to pick their candidates for the White House is 'rigged' and more than two-thirds want to see the process changed, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll." In need of reform and "rigged" are not the same thing. Possibly nothing makes it more plain that the system is not "rigged" than the fact that Obama won in '08. The winner wins.

Ted Cruz will reportedly "make a 'major announcement' at an afternoon rally" in Indianapolis today. Incredibly, it's probably not that he's dropping out. The rumor is that he will instead announce Carly Fiorina as his running mate should he get the nomination. Okay, player.

[Content Note: Misogyny] Donald Trump is the most disgusting Republican presidential candidate I have ever had the misfortune of covering, which is really saying something. This passage comes from a GQ profile of Melania Trump: "Melania is as fastidious a wife as she is a mother, which Donald appreciates. Things come easy with her. 'I work very hard from early in the morning till late in the evening,' Donald told Larry King in 2005. 'I don't want to go home and work at a relationship.' To the twice-divorced Donald, Melania is terrific. He's never heard her fart or make doodie, as he once told Howard Stern. (Melania has said the key to the success of her marriage is separate bathrooms.) He can trust her to take her birth control every day, he boasted to Stern; she's just amazing that way. She has the perfect proportions—five feet eleven, 125 pounds—and great boobs, which is no trivial matter. Stern once asked Trump what he would do if Melania were in a terrible car accident, God forbid, and lost the use of her left arm, developed an oozing red splotch near her eye, and mangled her left foot. Would Donald stay with her? 'How do the breasts look?' Trump asked."

[CN: Sexual assault] "Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert on Wednesday admitted to sexually abusing teenage boys during his time as a high school wrestling coach in a Chicago suburb before his career as an elected official. Struggling to stand in federal court Wednesday, 74-year-old Hastert gripped his walker, approached the microphone and said that he 'mistreated' some of his wrestlers and apologized. 'They looked to me, and I took advantage of them,' Hastert said as he awaited his sentencing after pleading guilty last fall to breaking federal banking laws in a hush-money case. 'I apologize to the court and to the people of the United States.' Judge Thomas Durkin sentenced Hastert to 15 months in prison, a $250,000 fine, along with two years of supervised release on the condition that he get sex offender treatment. Prosecutors had recommended a six-month sentence. Durkin called Hastert a 'serial child molester' and said he must not contact any of his victims. 'That's necessary to protect the victims,' the judge said." Rage seethe boil.

[CN: War on agency] Jessica Mason Pieklo is typically fantastic in her coverage of a federal investigation which "uncovered AmeriCorps volunteers allegedly violating federal law by assisting patients seeking abortions. ...AmeriCorps volunteers are free to work as abortion doulas on their own time and not wearing AmeriCorps gear to do so. They can also do so working as abortion clinic escorts—which are not the same thing as doulas—who help patients navigate a gauntlet of anti-choice protesters outside abortion clinics on their way into their procedures. The government's own findings provide zero information as to whether these volunteer activities happened on personal time or not. The first question to ask then is: When did these activities happen? Assuming the AmeriCorps volunteers didn't do this work on AmeriCorps time, then there is not an issue of illegality."

At Ebony, and in collaboration with the Ms. Foundation for Women, Wade Davis has introduced a week-long series in which "thought leaders are sharing stories and visuals of Black men engaging with ideas of feminism and gender equality."

President Obama: "Letters from kids like you are what make me so optimistic for the future. I hope to meet you next week, 'Little Miss Flint.'" RIGHT IN THE FEELS!

HBO will submit Beyoncé's Lemonade for Emmy consideration. FUCKING RIGHT IT WILL! "Whether Kahlil Joseph and Beyoncé herself, the credited directors of the piece, can be joined by 'additional directors' Melina Matsoukas, Todd Tourso, Dikayl Rimmasch, Jonas Akerlund, and Mark Romanek remains to be seen. HBO is in the midst of working out those details."

[CN: Animal distress] Dogs don't like hugs. As a rule! Some dogs do, under specific circumstances, like when they're already stressed and like their people to act as a human thundershirt. But generally, don't squeeze your dogs! It feels like doggy jail!

[CN: Animal abuse, but happy ending] When I was a kid, I was constantly finding hurt or endangered wild animals and rehabilitating them (sometimes in secret, because my mom was rightly concerned I was going to be bit or catch some disease), and I was lucky enough to live near a wildlife preserve where they could be safely relocated and released (with the staff's help). Which is a long way explaining why I love this story about a rescued possum so much.

And finally! "Cuddly Cat Family Adopts Orphan Pup." Awwwww! ♥

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The 47 Percent

[Content Note: Class warfare; wage stagnation; financial insecurity.]

This is a really great piece (minus some male-centric imagery) by Neal Gabler on the 47% of USians who are unable to come up with $400 in case of an emergency, and how this financial precariousness extends across many demographics.

It's a long but very good read.

I will note that the biographical story at its center is really more relatable for people who have had some amount of choice in their lives, and may not resonate with people who have been and remain in absolute poverty.

But certainly many parts of it will be meaningful to a whole lot of people.

It made me think, once again, about all the expenses people have now that previous generations didn't have: Computers, internet, cable, mobile phones, mobile phone plans... None of which are "luxuries." You need those things to survive. And they're expensive.

Wage stagnation isn't just about salaries not keeping up with the cost of housing and healthcare and education etc., but also about the fact that we just have more expenses than previous generations did.

Anyway. Read and discuss!

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A Leopard Misogynist Can't Change His Spots

[Content Note: Misogyny.]

Last night, during his rambling victory speech/stream of consciousness monologue/press conference/shitshow, Donald Trump again accused Hillary Clinton of having nothing but the "woman card" going for her. He bellowed: "If Hillary Clinton were a man, I don't think she'd get 5% of the vote. The only thing she's got going is the woman's card. And the beautiful thing is, women don't like her!"

Except for how lots and lots of women do, in fact, like her (she won female voters in Pennsylvania and Maryland last night, and probably some of the other states, though I haven't seen the numbers on those yet), and how even more women don't like him.

But Trump is certain that the misogyny angle is going to work against her, so, despite those promises to pivot and become more "presidential," he's doubling down on the misogyny, starting the day today by telling CNN that he "was running against seventeen very very capable people...and a woman," and telling MSNBC, in response to a clip of her saying "deal me in," that he's still "recovering" from her "shouting."

"I know a lot of people would say you can't say that about a woman, because of course a woman doesn't shout," Trump said. "The way she shouted that message was not—that's the way she said it, and I guess I'll have to get used to a lot of that over the next four or five months."
The reason people say that isn't because "of course a woman doesn't shout," but because women are routinely accused of shouting when they are using the same tone of voice as, say, a braggart billionaire who thinks his dick size is appropriate fodder for a presidential debate.

Trump has promised to come hard for Hillary for, basically, even acknowledging that she's a woman. It's a losing strategy, but he can't help himself, because he is an inveterate misogynist who hates and fears women.

He's going to keep accusing her of playing "the woman card," but, given that his entire campaign is an explicit appeal to white men, if there's anyone playing a gender card in this election, it's him.

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Super Tuesday Wrap-Up!

So, here are the results of yesterday's primaries:

Donald Trump swept all five states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.

Hillary Clinton won four: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Congratulations to Clinton, who moves one step closer to making history by being the first woman ever to secure the Democratic nomination and the White House!

Bernie Sanders won Rhode Island. Congratulations to Sanders, who is the first Jewish presidential candidate ever to win the Rhode Island primary!

Here's how the delegates shook out:

Trump walked away with all of the Republican delegates that were up for grabs, except for 5 awarded to John Kasich and 1 awarded to Ted Cruz in Rhode Island.

Clinton walked away with 194 delegates. Sanders walked away with 129.

The most exciting thing of the entire night for me was when Hillary Clinton, during her victory speech in Philly, pushed back on Donald Trump having said that she's got nothing going for her but the "woman card."

Said Clinton: "The other day, Mr. Trump accused me of playing the, quote, woman card. Well, if fighting for women's healthcare and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the woman card, then deal me in!"


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Open Thread

image of marzipan

Hosted by marzipan.

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Question of the Day

Suggested by Shaker boutet: "What would childhood-you think of you-now if they met you?"

I'm pretty sure childhood-me would like me-now, since I'm a lot like the aunts of whom childhood-me was very fond.

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

Phil Collins: "In the Air Tonight"

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Quote of the Day

"Well, I am going to have a Cabinet that looks like America, and 50 percent of America is women."—Hillary Clinton, when asked during her town hall last night whether women would make up half her cabinet if (WHEN) she is elected president.

How radical would it be if she did this? VERY.

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What Is Sanders Even Doing? Afternoon Edition.

Julie Bykowicz, a national reporter for the Associated Press, earlier today tweeted this screencap of a Bernie Sanders fundraising email, in which he tries to tie Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump:

screen cap of part of a fundraising email sent from the Sanders campaign reading: 'Can Bernie count on you to contribute $3 to our campaign right now as a way of saying you are still with Bernie Sanders and believe that every vote and every delegate is an important declaration of the values we share?' That is followed by an image of the Clintons with Donald and Melania Trump, captioned: 'Pictured below: Donald Trump and the one candidate in this race he said would make a 'great president.'' That is then followed by more text: 'Here's the truth: no matter what the Clinton campaign says, there is one candidate in this race Donald Trump said would make a great president, and another that he would never want to face in November.'

1. Trump said that in 2008. I'm pretty sure that, since then, Trump has said that he would make a great president. A tremendous president! The classiest and best president.

2. If Trump doesn't want to face Sanders, then why is he tweeting that Sanders should run as an independent? I'm pretty sure that Trump would be fucking elated to face Sanders in the general election, either as the Democratic candidate or an independent spoiler.

3. BERNIE SANDERS, WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING? This is not going to help you win the nomination. All it's going to do is hurt the Democratic Party. Which, as is increasingly clear, is not a bug of your campaign but a feature. Still, you claim to want to "do everything in my power to make sure that no Republican gets into the White House in this election," and if that is not a bald-faced lie, then STOP.

Just stop.

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[Content Note: Misogyny.]

I've got a new piece up at BNR on the unfathomable reality that Hillary Clinton gets more negative coverage from the corporate media than Donald Trump:

What does it say about this country, and how we value women, that the first woman with a legitimate shot at the US presidency gets more negative coverage than a man who trades in misogyny?

...Trump is a man who has called an entire group of people rapists, who wants to build walls and barriers between people, who supports nuclear weapons proliferation, who has threatened to commit war crimes if elected president. And it is Hillary Clinton, a woman who has dedicated her career to improving the lot of women and children and breaking down systems of oppression, who gets the most negative coverage.

I am very angry about that. And you should be, too.

...I refuse to abide this contemptible double standard without comment, without visible anger. Because somewhere, right now, is a little girl who doesn't have Hillary's immense profile. Somewhere, a little girl with darker skin, or who loves other little girls, or who has a disability, is watching this unfold. And she is calculating what it would mean to navigate what Hillary is navigating—plus the additional oppressions she would be required to bear.
Click through to read the whole thing.

My thanks to my colleague Peter Daou for finding the terrific pictures that accompany the text.

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Zelda the Black and Tan Mutt sitting in front of me, with her head tilted to one side
Who's a good girl, Zelda? Who is? Do you know? YOU ARE!

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

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In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

Here's a real shocker: "Trump rejects new adviser's push to make him 'presidential': Donald Trump is bristling at efforts to implement a more conventional presidential campaign strategy, and has expressed misgivings about the political guru behind them, Paul Manafort, for overstepping his bounds, multiple sources close to the campaign tell POLITICO." Gee, who could've guessed?

[Content Note: Class warfare; food insecurity; victim-blaming] "For over five years now, Kansas has served as an economic policy experiment for anti-tax, small-government conservatives. Their lab work is costing the state hundreds of millions of dollars, crippling public service budgets, and making life harder for low-income families without reducing the state's poverty rate at all. With his political star beginning to tarnish, Gov. Sam Brownback (R) came to Washington on Wednesday to discuss his poverty policies at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. At one point, the embattled governor justified his policy of forcing people off of food stamps if they can't find a job by likening low-income and jobless people to lazy college students. ...'You probably went to college. You had a lot of papers you had to write. When do most people do their papers in college? My guess is most of you, if I polled you, you would say the night before it was due,' Brownback said. 'That's just kind of who we are as people. And the work requirement is much the same thing.'" NO IT IS NOTHING LIKE THAT AND YOU ARE THE WORST.

[CN: Police misconduct; racism; anti-immigrationism] This is a really important read by Sarah Ryley for ProPublica: "The NYPD Is Running Stings Against Immigrant-Owned Shops, Then Pushing for Warrantless Searches."

[CN: Police misconduct; racism; homophobia; sexual assault] Fucking hell: "Authorities said they have uncovered racist and homophobic text messages sent by and to a former San Francisco police officer who is embroiled in a growing scandal over such messages among law enforcement. Jason Lai has resigned from the San Francisco Police Department following a 2015 investigation that first looked into sexual-assault allegations. ...Lai, a six-year veteran on the force, appeared to have made derogatory comments about numerous ethnic groups as well as gay police officers, according to CNN. ...The messages were discovered during a sexual-assault probe last year amid allegations from a woman who claimed she was on a date with Lai, who was off-duty, when he raped her, according to the Associated Press. Lai told police he could not remember whether they had sex, according to court records. Prosecutors said they did not have enough evidence to charge Lai with sexual assault. ...Lai's attorney, Don Nobles, told CNN this week that the text messages were taken from Lai's personal cellphone and were 'not reflective of who he is' or his abilities as a police officer. 'It's hard to say any of those things in context,' Nobles said, 'but there is context to it.'" Can you imagine the look on my face right now? I BET YOU CAN.

[CN: Homophobia; violence; terrorism] Al Qaeda has taken responsibility for the killings of Xulhaz Mannan and Mahbub Tonoy, two gay activists in Dhaka, Bangladesh: "Ansar-al Islam, the Bangladeshi branch of al Qaeda on the Indian subcontinent, claimed responsibility in a Twitter message Tuesday for what it called a 'blessed attack.' It said the two were killed because they were 'pioneers of practicing and promoting homosexuality in Bangladesh' and were 'working day and night to promote homosexuality … with the help of their masters, the U.S. crusaders and its Indian allies.' U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry condemned the [horrific] murders in a statement Monday and said the U.S. government would support Bangladeshi efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice."

[CN: Racism; classism] Welp: "Instant product delivery is seemingly the last service online retailers need to provide to conquer their brick-and-mortar competitors. Amazon’s same-day delivery option hopes to lead the charge. But a report from Bloomberg raises concerns about many of Amazon's black customers being excluded from the service. ...Amazon cites multiple reasons this may be the case, while adamantly denying racial stereotyping as one of them, including a lack of Prime users in certain areas, a disproportionately high number in others, slower expansion of coverage areas, and distance from the nearest product warehouse." But, for example: "The exclusion in Chicago is blamed on the predominantly black South Side being more than two hours away from the nearest production warehouse in Kenosha, WI. However, same-day delivery goes as far southwest as the suburb of Oak Lawn, which is eight miles south of the city and 85 percent white."

[CN: Death] Wow, this was a long time coming: "Ninety-six football fans who died as a result of a crush in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster were unlawfully killed, the inquests have concluded. The jury found match commander Ch Supt David Duckenfield was 'responsible for manslaughter by gross negligence' due to a breach of his duty of care. Police errors also added to a dangerous situation at the FA Cup semi-final. The prime minister said the inquests had provided 'official confirmation' fans were 'utterly blameless.' After a 27-year campaign by victims' families, the behaviour of Liverpool fans was exonerated."

Whooooooops! "The Japanese carmaker Mitsubishi Motors has admitted using fuel-economy testing methods that did not comply with Japanese regulations for 25 years, much longer than previously known. It said on Tuesday that aggressive internal targets may have put pressure on employees to overstate the fuel economy of its vehicles, adding that it would set up an external committee to investigate the matter."

[CN: Whitewashing] "Joaquin Phoenix might play Jesus Christ to Rooney Mara's Mary Magdalene." Sounds about right. *epic eyeroll*

Whoa! "New State for Water Molecules Discovered: Water's just plain old water, right? Not when you trap it inside a tiny channel, it seems, because then it behaves like no other solid, liquid, or gas."

[CN: Animal abuse] I love this (except for the part about the contest to kill stingrays, my god): "Aquarists are given the rare opportunity to learn from a wide variety of animals on a daily basis. The ability to constantly learn from animals in our care provides valuable insight and advances in animal welfare. The Phoenix Zoo has recently been providing significant insight to the intelligence of the Southern cownose stingray. This insight is being used to assist other facilities in breeding and husbandry practices. ...We should never underestimate the intelligence of any animal, nor should we underestimate the fact that every animal is capable of affection. The training sessions with Annie have also created a bond between us. I am always immediately greeted by Annie upon stepping into the tank."

And finally! "From Timid Rescue to DockDog Champ: Meet Sandy the Lab Mix." ♥

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Good Grief

[Content Note: War on agency.]

I'm glad the Republican front runner is keeping a firm focus on the important issues:

Donald Trump ridiculed John Kasich's "disgusting" eating during a rally in Rhode Island on Monday.

"Did you see him? He has a news conference, all the time when he's eating. I have never seen a human being eat in such a disgusting fashion," the GOP presidential front-runner said of his rival to a laughing, cheering crowd.

..."This guy takes a pancake and he's shoving it in his mouth," he said of Kasich. "It's disgusting."

"Do you want that for your president? I don't think so."
No, I don't want Kasich for my president. I also don't want someone who thinks this is worth public comment for my president.

Frankly, sir, I find it a lot more disgusting that Governor Kasich defunded Planned Parenthood.

As but one example of many.

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Rage. Seethe. Boil.

[Content Note: Racism; police brutality.]

Yesterday, I mentioned that the family of Tamir Rice, the child who was playing with a toy gun in a park when he was shot and killed by Cleveland police, was awarded $6 million as part of a settlement with the city.

Following news of the settlement, the Cleveland Police Patrolman's Association released a horrendous statement to the media, which reads:


We have maintained from the onset this has been an absolute tragedy for the Rice family as well as our involved Officers and their families. Our hearts continue to be with them.

We can only hope the Rice family and their attorneys will use a portion of this settlement to help educate the youth of Cleveland in the dangers associated with mishandling of both real and facsimile firearms. Something positive must come from this tragic loss. That would be educating youth of the dangers of possessing a real or replica firearm.

We look forward to the possibility of working with the Rice family to achieve this common goal.

Stephen Loomis
By way of reminder, Ohio is an open carry state. Also by way of reminder, Tamir Rice was fatally shot within about two seconds of the officers arriving on scene, having made zero effort to establish his age, whether he was licensed for open carry, or whether the gun was even real.

If there's anyone who needs further education, it isn't the youth of Cleveland. (By which he means black kids.) It's the police.

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What Is Sanders Even Doing? Again.

Last night, each of the Democratic candidates did an individual town hall on MSNBC. Bernie Sanders met with Chris Hayes, and Hillary Clinton met with Rachel Maddow. During the Sanders town hall, an audience questioner asked Sanders if, should he lose the nomination, he will encourage his supporters to back Clinton.

And, of course, he refused. I've got a post at BNR with video and a transcript of his utterly contemptible response, along with some commentary about how unprecedented and reckless it was.

Incredibly, during Clinton's town hall, Maddow, taking as read Sanders' premise that Clinton needs to reach out to his voters (and the attendant premise that her platform doesn't address their concerns), asked Clinton if she's willing to embrace his recommendations to win his supporters.

Thankfully, Clinton responded beautifully to this garbage. Recalling the 2008 primary, when she quickly endorsed then-Senator Obama after losing the nomination, she said: "I did not put down conditions. I said I am supporting to Senator Obama, because whatever differences we had, they paled in comparison to the differences we have with Republicans. ...I spent an enormous amount of time convincing my supporters to support him."

When Maddow attempted to follow up with a question that treated her winning as a hypothetical, Clinton firmly replied: "I AM AHEAD. And let's start from that premise." Fucking right!

This is just absurd. The entire line of questioning is absurd. The fact that Sanders won't just plainly say he'll endorse Clinton is absurd. That he continues to reiterate the very attacks on her that misrepresent her experience and platform to justify not endorsing her is absurd. His insistence she needs to chase his supporters for their support is absurd. The media treating all of the above as legitimate is absurd.

Honestly, at this point, I see no evidence whatsoever that Sanders isn't just hoping to destroy the Democratic Party on his way out the door. And I am very angry about that.

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Super Tuesday 3.0

Today is yet another SUPER TUESDAY, with Democratic and Republican contests in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island!

There are SO MANY DELEGATES up for grabs! All of them will be proportionally allocated, except on the Republican side, where Delaware is winner-take-all and Maryland is winner-take-most.

Here's a primary day thread, for discussion of various primary-related stuff throughout the day. Good luck, voters! Hope your voting goes smoothly!

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Open Thread

image of a muskrat

Hosted by a muskrat.

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Question of the Day

Suggested by Shaker laurakeet: "A consistently good one, in my opinion: What word do you just like? It can be its meaning, its sound, its spelling, whatever—just a word you have a special affinity for."


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