Here is some stuff in the news today...
[Content Note: Terrorism; torture; death; video may autoplay at link] ICYMI: Donald Trump praised Saddam Hussein yesterday: "While acknowledging that Saddam Hussein 'was a bad guy,' Trump praised the former Iraqi dictator's efficient killing of 'terrorists'—despite the fact that Iraq was listed as a state sponsor of terrorism during Hussein's time in power. ...'He was a bad guy—really bad guy. But you know what? He did well? He killed terrorists. He did that so good. They didn't read them the rights. They didn't talk. They were terrorists. Over. Today, Iraq is Harvard for terrorism,' Trump said." This was, in fact, a reiteration of something he said on Sunday, telling Jake Tapper that the world would be better if dictators like Hussein and Moammar Gadhafi were still in power. Let us understand with both clarity and horror that this is essentially just another self-endorsement.
[CN: Anti-semitism] The above, of course, follows days of Trump engaging in anti-semitism, including tweeting an anti-semitic graphic about Hillary Clinton and his spokesperson giving an incredible statement to Fortune magazine: "[W]hen Fortune asked campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks about the vetting of the accounts Donald retweets, she replied by saying they 'are not vetted, known or of interest to the candidate or the campaign.' Perhaps they should be of interest, unless Donald is fine with being associated with white supremacists. Which is uncertain, given Hicks' incredible response when Fortune further asked 'whether or not Trump believes that white genocide is a legitimate concern.' Hicks simply refused to answer. That should have been a softball—an easy disavowal. But not for the Trump campaign."
[CN: Anti-semitism] Dana Schwartz, a Jewish employee of the Observer, owned by Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, writes a powerful open letter to her boss: "Please do not condescend to me and pretend you don't understand the imagery of a six-sided star when juxtaposed with money and accusations of financial dishonesty. I'm asking you, not as a 'gotcha' journalist or as a liberal but as a human being: how do you allow this? Because, Mr. Kushner, you are allowing this."
[CN: Misogyny] This is just a real headline in the New York Times about President Obama campaigning with Hillary Clinton yesterday: "How Obama Stole the Show at Hillary Clinton's Campaign Rally." Clinton cannot campaign with any other human (see also: Elizabeth Warren) and not get crappy headlines about how she was upstaged. And it's particularly shitty to tell this lie about Obama upstaging her when central to the day was their mutual respect for each other. A man and a woman, a white person and a person of color, praising each other as equals, peers, colleagues, friends. And you're gonna make shit up about upstaging? JFC. Does the media even consider the cost and consequences of their hatred of Hillary Clinton? Ever? (That's rhetorical.)
Damn: "House Democrats [strongly disagreed with] Sen. Bernie Sanders in a closed-door session Wednesday after he deflected questions about when he would formally back Hillary Clinton for president, with a group of members booing him at one point, according to three Democrats who attended the meeting. ...Many Democrats have been reluctant to publicly criticize Sanders for continuing his campaign because they want to ensure that the supporters he activated through the long primary contest will come out and vote for the Democratic ticket in November. But some members let out their frustration with the Vermont senator Wednesday morning, with one member calling Sanders' appearance before the caucus a 'total display of self-obsession.'"
[CN: Rape culture; sexual abuse; patient abuse] Fucking hell: "More than 2,400 U.S. doctors have been sanctioned for sexually abusing their patients, according to a new report that, for the first time, surveyed records from all 50 states and reveals the nationwide scope of a problem that may be almost as far-reaching as the scandal involving Catholic priests. State medical boards, which oversee physicians, allowed more than half the sanctioned doctors to keep their licenses even after the accusations of sexual abuse were determined to be true, according to a yearlong investigation by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 'We found a culture of secrecy,' said Carrie Teegardin, a reporter on the paper's investigative team for the project. 'It's treated with a sort of secrecy that we don't see in other arenas when we're talking about allegations this serious,' she told ABC News."
[CN: Sexual harassment; coercion] Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson alleges that she complained to Fox News chief Roger Ailes about discriminatory treatment by her co-host Steve Doocy, and, in response, Ailes essentially tried to sexually blackmail her, then refused to renew her contract when his ploy didn't work. "According to the complaint, 'When Carlson met with Ailes to discuss the discriminatory treatment to which she was being subjected, Ailes stated: 'I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago and then you'd be good and better and I'd be good and better,' adding that 'sometimes problems are easier to solve' that way. Carlson rebuffed Ailes' sexual demands at that meeting, and nine months later, Ailes ended her career at Fox News.'" Seethe. I have more on this at BNR.
[CN: Murder; domestic violence; video may autoplay at link] Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced to six years for murdering Reeva Steenkamp. The sentence was "less than half the 15 year minimum term sought by prosecutors," but is significantly more than his original sentence for manslaughter carried, before the conviction was revised and elevated to murder, following public outcry.
[CN: War on agency] "With the new U.S. Supreme Court abortion ruling, some Pennsylvania lawmakers want to roll back provisions similar to those struck down in Texas—and to head off any new restrictions in a bill debated on the house floor in late June. Several legislators have called for repeal of Act 122, which was enacted in 2012 and mandates that Pennsylvania abortion clinics meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers." Glad to see Pennsylvania Dems being proactive on this one.
"Activists from around the world, including U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, gathered at the White House last week for a discussion on global LGBT rights. ...At last week's 'dialogue,' reports the Washington Blade, Power and [U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Gayle Smith] spoke about the White House's efforts to promote LGBT rights abroad in the wake of President Obama's 2011 directive to agencies that carry out American foreign policy. 'This presidential memorandum sets out to end the 'no-go zones' and to expand enjoyment of rights in a deep, deep way,' said Power."
[CN: Choice policing; homophobia] All the mirthless laughter: "Catholics in Philadelphia who are divorced and civilly remarried will be welcome to accept Holy Communion—as long as they abstain from sex and live out their relationships like 'brother and sister.'" Okay. And of course that was paired with continued homophobia: "New guidelines published by the conservative archbishop of Philadelphia this month also called on priests within the archdiocese to help Catholics who are attracted to people of the same sex and 'find chastity very difficult,' saying such individuals should be advised to frequently seek penance." Just stop. Stop.
Cool: "There has been growing excitement in the hallways and offices at Cern in Geneva over a so-called 'bump' in the data from the Large Hadron Collider's particle collisions. The LHC smashes two beams of proton particles together about 100m beneath the French-Swiss border. Scientists then scour the debris of these smash-ups for hints of previously undiscovered particles. Last year, out of trillions of such collisions, scientists detected more photon (light) particles being produced than expected—the aforementioned 'bump.' More precisely, they saw an excess of photon pairs with a combined mass of 750 Gigaelectronvolts (GeV). This could be the tell-tale sign of a new, heavy particle that's about six times more massive than the famed Higgs boson—discovered at Cern in 2012. The discovery of a new particle would be so exciting because the most widely accepted theory of particle physics, the Standard Model, can't explain everything we observe about the world around us."
[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Paul Feig on Ghostbusters and funny women, again: "Working with funny women does make every genre you look at take a different turn, because they just haven't been done with women. And selfishly I love working with funny women." And then this omgggg: "Aside from Ghostbusters, if Feig could reboot any movie, what would it would be? 'Logan's Run. Just because it's such a great story.' In fact, a remake of the 1967 sci-fi thriller has been in the works for years, and Feig has a message for whoever ends up producing it. 'Do it well,' he laughs. 'Don't ruin my childhood!'" LOLOLOL BOOM.
And finally! "Guy Leaves Fake Animal Facts All Over Los Angeles Zoo." Okay, the koala one absolutely ended me. LOL!