How to Help West Virginia Flood Victims.
[Content Note: Death; exploitation] This interview with Dr. Anne Stevens, the sister of Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was killed at Benghazi, is so upsetting. His family has been saying for years now that he wouldn't want to be exploited this way; that he knew the risks; that they don't blame Hillary Clinton and neither would he. And the Republicans carry on, because his actual humanity isn't worth anything to them.
[CN: Homophobia] The hashtag "Heterosexual Pride Day" has been trending all day on Twitter. Here's what I have to say about that garbage:
"Heterosexual Pride Day" exemplifies the opposite of pride. It reflects a desperate, brittle insecurity about losing undeserved privilege.— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) June 29, 2016
[CN: Carcerality; racism] Another strong argument for carceral reform/prison abolition: "Mass incarceration damages individuals and communities in ways that scholars are just starting to explore. New research that we've published with our colleague Mary Laske Bell shows that African American men who are former inmates are irrevocably harmed by time they spent behind bars. ...African Americans constitute nearly 1 million of the 2.3 million persons incarcerated and are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of whites. One in three African American men will experience prison." Fucking hell.
Relatedly: "President Obama's administration is making a higher education much more convenient for inmates in U.S. prisons. A new plan was introduced that will provide $30 million in pell grants for up to 12,000 inmates to take college courses. 'We all agree that crime must have consequences, but the men and women who have done their time and paid their debt deserve the opportunity to break with the past and forge new lives in their homes, workplaces, and communities,' said Education Secretary John B. King Jr., according to the Washington Post. 'This belief in second chances is fundamental to who we are as Americans.' Inmates in 27 states will be able to take advantage of the pilot program which will enroll them in a variety of online courses or classes inside of prison facilities moving forward. This plan goes directly against a controversial 1994 congressional ban on federal funds being spent on prison inmates. However, a new initiative to actually prevent prisoners from becoming repeat offenders—and data that shows education lowers the likelihood of inmates returning—have turned the tide."
[CN: Torture] Donald Trump "has repeated calls for the return of waterboarding against Islamic State militants, saying: 'I like it a lot.' His comments at a rally in Ohio came hours after suicide bombers killed 41 people at an airport in Istanbul. 'You have to fight fire with fire,' said the Republican's likely nominee... 'We have to fight so viciously and violently because we're dealing with violent people,' Mr Trump said. At one point, he asked the crowd: 'What do you think about waterboarding?' They cheered as he gave his answer: 'I like it a lot. I don't think it's tough enough.'" Breathtaking. Terrifying. Indecent.
Congratulations, Misty Snow! "Utah voters picked a historic, and largely unknown, Democratic candidate to challenge Sen. Mike Lee this November. Misty K. Snow is the first transgender nominee from a major party to run for a U.S. Senate seat and she is among the first transgender people to run for Congress. Misty Plowright, a transgender woman, claimed the Democratic nomination in Colorado's conservative 5th House District on Tuesday."
And congratulations, Misty Plowright! "Misty Plowright won in Colorado's 5th congressional district, which Politico reports is 'the most conservative in the state,' and will challenge Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.)." Misty Plowright is also transgender.
[CN: Anti-atheism] Ian Millhiser on Justice Alito's Bizarre and Offensive Attack on Atheists. Spoiler Alert! Alito thinks religion is the only way to morals and ethics. Because of course he does.
Senate Democrats had to kill a Zika bill because their Republican colleagues fucked around with it so much that it became pointless. And now funding to combat Zika will be delayed even further. For fuck's sake.
In other Senate news: "A rescue package for cash-strapped Puerto Rico is likely to clear the final hurdle this week after the bill passed a test vote in the US Senate on Wednesday, by 68 votes to 32. An official vote is likely to take place later on Wednesday or Thursday. The bill would provide emergency debt relief to Puerto Rico, which is expected to default on a $2bn debt payment on Friday. But it was strongly opposed by Bernie Sanders and several other Senate Democrats. Sanders called the bill 'disastrous' and a victory for hedge funds. ...The Senate minority leader, Harry Reid, said he would vote for the legislation, though he criticized [Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader] for not allowing amendments to the bill. The House is out of session until 5 July, so the Senate will have to pass the House bill unchanged for it to head to the president's desk for his signature before the Friday deadline."
I love this so much: "A university professor in Ivory Coast baby seats for his student [a new mum] who was taking her exams."
"This skeleton robot salamander just wiggled its way into my heart." Seconded!
And finally! "American Bulldog Who Used to Fear Men Now Has 2 Daddies Who Adore Her." BLUB FOREVERRRRRRR.