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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