Question of the Day

Obviously, it has to be: What was your favorite Halloween costume ever?

I mean your favorite that you've ever worn, but, if you don't have one, your favorite that you've seen someone else wearing will do!

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

Bobby "Boris" Pickett: "Monster Mash"

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The Monday Blogaround

This blogaround brought to you by David S. Pumpkins.

Kenrya: [Content Note: Police brutality; racism] Walter Scott Police-Involved Killing Trial Begins Today

Andy: [CN: Homophobia; transphobia] Trump Again Tries to Pretend He's a Friend to LGBT Voters; Enters Rally with Rainbow Flag

Jerico: [CN: Self-harm] Male Participants Quit 'Effective' Birth Control Study Due to Adverse Effects

Katie: How I Finally Figured Out I'm Queer in My Late Thirties

Marley: Bionic Artist Viktoria Modesta Transcends "What You Think Makes a Human Body"

Dan: NASA's Incredible Pumpkin Carving Contest Wins Halloween

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

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Shaker Gourmet

Whatcha been cooking up in your kitchen lately, Shakers?

Share your favorite recipes, solicit good recipes, share recipes you've recently tried, want to try, are trying to perfect, whatever! Whether they're your own creation, or something you found elsewhere, share away.

Also welcome: Recipes you've seen recently that you'd love to try, but haven't yet!

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Dudley the Greyhound and Matilda the Fuzzy Sealpoint Cat taking a nap on the couch together
Nap friends!

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...

ThinkProgress' Ian Millhiser makes "The case for firing James Comey" because "Americans have rights. Even if they are Hillary Clinton."

[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] And another important one from Kurt Eichenwald: "Donald Trump's Companies Destroyed Emails in Defiance of Court Orders." Of course they did.

Also not a surprise, but nonetheless infuriating, comes this news from Matea Gold at the WaPo: "Donald Trump is refusing to pay his campaign pollster three-quarters of a million dollars." The guy has paid himself and his family members millions from his campaign coffers, but can't pay his pollster. Just like he's been stiffing contractors his entire life.

My Shareblue colleague Tommy Christopher on the brilliant Hillary Clinton ad that features the "Daisy Girl" from Lyndon Johnson's 1964 ad.

[CN: Environmental harm; child abuse] Awful, awful, awful: "About 300 million children in the world are living in areas with outdoor air so toxic—six or more times higher than international pollution guidelines—that it can cause serious health damage, including harming their developing brains, a new United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) report has revealed. 'Pollutants don't only harm children's developing lungs—they can actually cross the blood-brain barrier and permanently damage their developing brains—and, thus, their futures,' said UNICEF's Executive Director Anthony Lake in a news release today announcing the agency's new report 'Clear the Air for Children'."

[CN: Transphobia] "The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Friday to take up the case of Gavin Grimm, a transgender high school student who sued Gloucester County School Board over its policy prohibiting the 17-year-old from using the boys' bathroom during his senior year at his high school." GOOD. Now let us fervently hope they make the right decision.

The Transgender Law Center has more.

Interesting: "Dear Science: Why do people like scary movies and haunted houses?"

"The male wine-throated hummingbird has an impressive courtship display." That's pretty much how Iain courted me. Except instead of fuchsia plumage, it was an elaborate display of treating me like an equal human being.

What have you been reading?

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Open Thread: Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

I know Halloween has become many people's favorite holiday of the year, and I also happen to know that some Shakers take Halloween very seriously! So here is a thread to talk about Halloween, and please feel welcome and encouraged to share descriptions and/or pictures of your costume.

This year, I'm fixing to go as one of the most elusive and terrifying creatures in modern history: A visible Hillary Clinton supporter!

image of me taking a photo of myself in a mirror wearing a 'Madam President' t-shirt with Hillary Clinton's face and a shower of patriotic stars

But, obvs, this is the best costume of all the costumes this year or any year:

[Tweet features an image of a small dog dressed as David Bowie's character from Labyrinth.]


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All of This Sounds About Right

David Fahrenthold has done some of the most important investigative reporting on Donald Trump during this election. Over the weekend, the Washington Post published his account of months of research into Trump's claims of charitable giving. It is an absolutely extraordinary piece, and I highly recommend taking the time to read the entire thing: "Trump boasts about his philanthropy. But his giving falls short of his words."

It is, at once, totally unsurprising, given everything we already know about Trump, and utterly breathtaking, seeing it all compiled in one place like this.

Donald Trump is, truly, the most brazen liar to have ever run for the office of the United States presidency.

That is abundantly clear.

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An Observation

[Content Note: Bigotry; threats of violence.]

There were more incidents of threats, bigotry, and other ugliness at Donald Trump events over the weekend. Reporters were abused with anti-Semitic taunts; a Black Trump supporter was mistaken for a protester and called (by Trump himself) a "thug" and kicked him out; a warm-up speaker at a rally fantasized about the deaths of Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin; there were more anti-Clinton shouts and plenty of folks wearing t-shirts emblazoned with gross anti-Clinton text and imagery.

This is concerning for a number of reasons, and this is right at the top of the list: If Trump wins, his supporters are going to be terrifying because they have been empowered. If Trump loses, his supporters are going to be terrifying because they feel disempowered.

And that has been precisely his goal. It's no wonder he feels like he's winning no matter what the polls say.

His candidacy has been ruinous for this nation.

I am very nervous about what happens on November 8th, but I am even more nervous about what happens on November 9th. And the days after.

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We'll Make History

black and white image of Hillary Clinton standing onstage at the Democratic Convention, waving

I've got a new essay at Shareblue about how each person who votes for Hillary Clinton will be etching our names into history:
The fact that Clinton made shattering a 227-year-old glass ceiling look inevitable is testament to how thoroughly she has changed the landscape.

She has taken centuries of acrimonious exclusion, and rendered them a relic.

In the strangest way — and most expected, for students of women's history — Clinton being greeted as just another boring old candidate, by people who are not inclined to appreciate the seismic shift of her achievement, is the most pointed evidence of its profundity.

Oh her. Yeah, all she had to do was be extraordinary.

But whether we appreciate the enormous import of her historical candidacy — and the possibility of triumph ahead — each of us will making history, in the quiet privacy of a voting booth, as we cast our votes.

...Each of us walks into a voting booth alone. Behind a little curtain, we make a choice. We fill in a circle, or pull a lever, or punch a card, or push a button. And then we are done.

It is a solitary task. But none of us decides an election on our own. We are part of a collective. Tens of millions of others, each completing the same solitary task on the same day. It is a unique thing, voting the way that we do. In solitude. Together.
There is, as always, much more at the link.

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Open Thread

image of a purple sofa

Hosted by a purple sofa. Have a seat and chat!

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The Virtual Pub Is Open

image of a pub Photoshopped to be named 'The I'm With Her Pub'
[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

Janis Joplin: "Piece of My Heart"

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The Friday Blogaround

This blogaround brought to you by squash.

Recommended Reading:

Ryan: [Content Note: Misogyny; sexual harassment; humiliation] Video Shows Donald Trump Sexually Humiliating Woman Before Large Audience

Sameer: [CN: Racism; fearmongering] Jorge Ramos Condemns 'Trump Effect' on Immigrants' Children in New Interview

Jenn: [CN: Racism] Sen. Mark Kirk Apologizes After Racist Remark Against Rep. Tammy Duckworth

Andy: [CN: Homophobic violence] Pulse Nightclub Victim's Mother Stars in Powerful Ad for Hillary Clinton

Amie: [CN: Anti-choicery] Debunking the Mythical "Nine Month Abortion"

Stephanie: [CN: Misogyny; violence; anti-choicery] Anti-Woman Horror 101: How Rereading Christopher Pike's Whisper of Death Killed My Nostalgia

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

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I'll Believe It When I See It

[Content Note: Harassment; bigotry; abuse.]

Twitter says (again) that it's definitely totally for sure going to address its harassment problem pretty soon:

Twitter is a real time platform for news and conversation, but sometimes that conversation can get quite nasty. The company's laissez faire attitude toward freedom of expression has seen it develop a reputation for toxicity that's scared off several potential buyers, including Disney. That's why, Twitter is now pledging to deal with its cultural problems by making "meaningful" changes to its "safety policy, product, and enforcement strategy."

The prevalence of Twitter trolls is often blamed for the site's slow user growth and difficulty with advertisers. It's hoped that this new strategy will give people "more control over their Twitter experience" and offer the "most important safety features" to users. That may not be enough, however, given that how easy it is to find accounts spreading racism, targeted harassment of women and minorities, or threats of violence.
Twitter has a massive problem. And they are colossally failing at addressing even the most vicious harassment and threats, so I don't even know how they imagine they're going to tackle stuff like the below exchange, which is entirely typical of my experience on Twitter on a daily basis.

[CN: Homophobia; disablism.]

screen cap of Twitter exchange
Me: Saved people's lives. #ObamacareInThreeWords

Random Dude: i hope you get deported

Me: I'm an American citizen, so I cannot be deported. Seems you need to brush up on immigration law.

Dude: i could care less if you are an american citizen or not you dumb dyke, i just want you and your autism out of this country

Me: Why? Because I stated a fact that Obamacare has saved lives? That seems rather unreasonable.

Dude: it has? really, please tell me how and who it saved :)

Me: Here, let me Google that for you. [link to Google search "obamacare saved my life"]

Dude: Ok? that prooves nothing you stupid dyke

Me: You asked me to tell you whose lives it saved. I did. How does that make me stupid?
So, because I stated the indisputable fact that Obamacare has saved people's lives, I got told I should be deported, that I'm a dumb dyke, that I'm autistic, and that I'm a stupid dyke.

And this, mind you, was one of dozens of exchanges I had exactly like it. I don't typically engage with trolls on Twitter, but I did this time, just because the pushback was so immediate and vicious, over three words, and I figured I'd engage entirely reasonably, calmly, and factually, just to demonstrate that the entire point of trolling is to be vicious. Not to engage. Not even if the person they are attacking is reasonable. It is literally just to harm.

Twitter has facilitated that behavior since its inception. How it imagines it will change that culture now, I have no idea. I'll believe it when I see it. And I frankly don't expect to see it anytime soon.

It grieves me that putting up with that shit is the cost of using their technology, which, for entirely other reasons, I value deeply. But I can't imagine it won't be any other way anytime soon. I hope I'm wrong.

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In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

"Bundy Brothers Acquitted in Takeover of Oregon Wildlife Refuge." I don't even have words. I really don't.

And all I have to say about the newest EMAILS!!!1!eleventy! development is to echo what Peter Daou said here: Most voters don't care. Sustained media coverage and intense investigations have yielded no wrongdoing. Even most voters who oppose her don't really care, beyond its value to try to harm her.

Wow: "President Obama commuted the sentences of 98 federal inmates on Thursday, almost all of whom were convicted of nonviolent, narcotics-related crimes. A total of 42 of them had expected to serve the remainder of their lifetimes in prison. This is just the latest wave of prisoners who will now get to go home early, courtesy of Obama. The president has now granted commutations for a total of 872 prisoners during his entire presidency, which, according to the White House, beats the last 11 presidents combined. This year alone he has shortened the sentences of 688 people—a presidential record."

Further evidence that Donald Trump is not an outlier of his party: "Election Day is still more than a week away, but for some Republicans it is not too soon to begin plotting the next war against Hillary Clinton if she wins the presidency. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) raised the prospect of an indefinite Republican blockade around the vacant Supreme Court seat. ...Another ominous statement came this week from Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah)... Mr. Chaffetz told The Post's David Weigel that he intends a scorched-earth approach to investigating Ms. Clinton if she goes to the White House. 'It's a target-rich environment,' he said. ...In both the Cruz and Chaffetz statements rings the banana-republic tone of Donald Trump, who has not committed to respecting the will of the voters if he loses the presidency, who rails against 'crooked Hillary' and whose rallies are filled with the ugly chant of 'lock her up.' It is a primitive approach to politics that suggests a conflict over ideas and policy is not enough, that the opposing side must be annihilated at any cost, even if it leaves the government paralyzed."

I wrote a thing about a deeply moving video from about immigrant servicemembers and vets.

By my Shareblue colleague Matthew Chapman: "Harvard poll: Clinton winning millennials by massive margins."

"This Dog Caught a Koala Peeking into His House and It's So Cute." As advertised!

What have you been reading?

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Dudley the Greyhound lying on the sofa, with his legs in the air
The life of a retired greyhound. And deservedly so.

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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Quote of the Day

"I'm thinking to myself right now: We should just cancel the election and just give it to Trump, right? What are we even having it for? What are we having it for?"—Donald Trump.

Once again, I will point out it was HILLARY CLINTON—who's out there working to earn every vote and campaigning like she's behind in the polls—who was accused of feeling "entitled" to the presidency.

For months. And months. And months and months.

And now that Trump is literally suggesting that we should just do away with the democratic process altogether, and "just give" the presidency to him, where is the commentary that he feels entitled?


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An Observation

This election is very interesting in that, on the one hand, I am an ignorant jackass who needs to "inform myself" about Hillary Clinton and "wake up," and, on the other hand, I am so well-informed that my ideas are way ahead of the curve and also constantly plagiarized.

The funny thing is, in either case, whether it's a troll or a thief, I am definitely not given credit for knowing anything. So at least they have that in common.

It's so much fun to be the smartest dum-dum in politics!

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Meet the "Top Scot" Who Took on Trump

[Content Note: Bullying; intimidation.]

I've got a new piece at Shareblue about Michael and Molly Forbes, the Scottish farmer and his mom who took on Donald Trump when he tried to force them off their land for a golf resort:

For nearly a decade, Scotsman Michael Forbes and his mother Molly fought a battle against Donald Trump, who used every means possible to try to get his hands on their farmland as part of a golf resort project in Aberdeenshire.

When they refused to be bought, Trump threatened to try to use a compulsory purchase order to forcibly remove Forbes and his mother from their own property.

And when that didn't work, Trump started a media blitz against Forbes, saying he lives in "disgusting" and "slum-like" conditions, asserting that he is "not a respected man among the people that he lives with," and sneering that he "lives in a pig-like atmosphere; it's disgusting."
There is more at the link. It's simultaneously the most Trump story ever (in a bad way), and the most Scottish story ever (in a good way).

Yet another on an endless list of reasons that this guy should never be our president.

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Open Thread

image of a pink couch

Hosted by a pink sofa. Have a seat and chat!

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Question of the Day

Suggested by Shaker Chelsea Black: "If you could switch places with any fictional character ever, which one would you choose and why?"

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

Aretha Franklin: "Respect"

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Photo of the Day

image of Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama at their campaign event in North Carolina, both making mm-hmm! faces
Mm-hmm, Donald Trump. Nasty women are coming for ya.

[Photo via.]

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Zelda the Black and Tan Mutt dozing off to sleep on the couch, her head on a pillow and the tip of her tongue sticking out
Sleepy doggeh.

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...

[Content Note: Bigotry; voter suppression; video may autoplay at link] This Bloomberg piece, "Inside the Trump Bunker, with 12 Days to Go," is incredible. There is a lot there, but this passage in particular is notable: "Instead of expanding the electorate, Bannon and his team are trying to shrink it. 'We have three major voter suppression operations under way,' says a senior official. They're aimed at three groups Clinton needs to win overwhelmingly: idealistic white liberals, young women, and African Americans."

Ted Cruz is still awful: "'You know, I think there will be plenty of time for debate on that issue,' said Cruz, when he was asked whether a Republican-controlled Senate should hold votes on a President Hillary Clinton's nominees. 'There is certainly long historical precedent for a Supreme Court with fewer justices. I would note, just recently, that Justice Breyer observed that the vacancy is not impacting the ability of the court to do its job. That's a debate that we are going to have.'" Just a Republican Senator, threatening to indefinitely prevent Democratic presidents from filling Supreme Court vacancies.

Meanwhile, Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings "offered a sobering assessment of the GOP's willingness to undermine a Hillary Clinton White House, indicating that impeachment was already on the table."

[CN: Sexual assault; misogyny] This is a very, very good piece by Amber Tamblyn: "The Frame That Holds the Big Picture: How Mothers and Daughters Can Change the Way We Talk About Being Women."

[CN: Animal harm; image of poached elephant at link] Fucking hell: "World on track to lose two-thirds of wild animals by 2020, major report warns: Living Planet Index shows vertebrate populations are set to decline by 67% on 1970 levels unless urgent action is taken to reduce humanity's impact."

Noelia Garella is Argentina's first nursery school teacher with Downs syndrome. She said: "I adore this. Ever since I was little, I have always wanted to be a teacher, because I like children so much." And so, despite resistance, she became a teacher! And a good one, too, who is loved by her students and their parents. There's a great video (which autoplays) about Noelia here.

Hahahaha: "Gay News Anchor Has the Best Possible Joke About Victoria Secret's 'Fantasy Bra'."

[CN: Moving gif at link] OMG CATS. That is all.

What have you been reading?

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Hillary Clinton's Sins

I've got a new piece at Shareblue on the incoherent and irreconcilable attacks on Hillary Clinton:

Much of this election has centered around attacking Hillary Clinton for standing the line on behalf of people under legislative and rhetorical assault by her political opponents. And they come from two angles: That she has been corrupted by institutional power, and that she has been corrupted by "political correctness."

What is continually fascinating about the attacks on Clinton is that they are fundamentally irreconcilable. On the one hand, she is attacked for doing the bidding of powerful corporate special interests. On the other hand, she is attacked for being beholden to marginalized, identity-based special interest groups.

Both cannot be true, because those respective groups have competing and mutually exclusive needs and objectives.

What is true, however, is that we have seen Clinton, over and over, leverage her relationships with influential, wealthy institutions and individuals in order to convince them to move the needle on their priorities and/or to donate resources to be used on behalf of her marginalized constituencies.
As always, click through to read the whole thing!

These attacks, of course, come from both Hillary Clinton's right and from her left. The latter is particularly curious to me, because what progressives say we expect of people in power, and of one another, is to leverage our privilege on behalf of people without it.

Clinton's career looks precisely like that on a grand scale. That she has credibility with power-brokers gives her that leverage. Credibility grants access. It isn't the access itself that is the issue, as is central to most of these critiques. It's what someone does with that access.

And it's pretty clear to me, after having studied her record for decades, that she leverages it pretty spectacularly.

That doesn't mean perfectly. It means better than just about anyone else, and maybe everyone else.

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Hillary & Michelle: On the Campaign Trail Together!

In about a half hour or so, First Lady Michelle Obama will join Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail in North Carolina! Squeeeeee! Consider this an open thread for discussion, if you're able to watch their joint event live.

C-SPAN will livestream the event.

The embedded video below should be a livestream once the event begins. I will try to find a replacement if it's not working once the event starts.

UPDATE: I've got a new piece at Shareblue on the two First Ladies campaigning together: "Feminist First Ladies join forces to defeat sexist Trump — what a time to be alive." Enjoy!

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Fatsronauts 101: Fat Halloween

[Content Note: Fat hatred.]

Halloween is right around the corner—and thus Halloween costume parties—and, every year, after Halloween, I see pictures circulated on social media, without their subjects' consent, of fat adults dressed up as recognizable characters who aren't fat. (Very occasionally, I see this done to fat kids, too.) These pictures are inevitably shared to mock the fat costumed person, often under the presumption that the fat person doesn't understand how they look and frequently accompanied by resentful accusations that the fat person is "ruining" the character.

Don't do this.

Let me tell you that fat people dressed as thin characters understand we look different than the thin character. It's not that we don't know how we look; it's that we don't care what you think.

And why should we, when you think that a fat woman dressed up as Trinity or a fat man dressed up as Spock "ruins" the character? That's a garbage opinion. You're telegraphing to us that your opinion shouldn't be valued.

I have seen arguments on social media in which mockers of fat costumed people justify their mockery, their assertions that the characters are "ruined" by fat people, on the basis that "Batman could never be fat" or "Wonder Woman could never be fat," literally without a trace of fucking acknowledgment that Superman and Wonder Woman could never exist at all. It's a fantasy.

What they're saying, with their also-bullshit contentions about what fat bodies can and cannot do (which are almost always wrong), is that a fat body ruins the fantasy for them. Which is really their problem. Not the fat person in the costume.

And frankly, if one can imagine a man who can lift an entire skyscraper with one hand, but couldn't lift his own ass into the air if it were fat, one really doesn't have much of an imagination.

But the problem isn't a lack of imagination so much as it is a lack of decency. All year long, fat people are expected to hide ourselves away from view—to not take up space; to speak softly; to exercise, but not in public; to cover ourselves in yards of fabric to conceal the shapes of our bodies; to carry ourselves hunched and bowed, so that we might be smaller and convey the shame we are obliged to communicate for our very existence—and it's the same on Halloween. Best that we don't show ourselves at all, and certainly not dressed as a thin character.

The message is clear: You don't deserve to be that character, because you are fat.

Fuck that.

We aren't required to wait to live our lives, to do the things we want to do, unless and until we lose weight. We can live and do and thrive right now.

The public mockery of fat people in thin character costumes is explicitly designed to shame us back into hiding, into not living, unless and until we earn the right of participation by making ourselves thin.

I repeat: Fuck that.

And then there's this: I am a fat person who actively wants to dress up as fat characters for Halloween. And before Melissa McCarthy made it so that I could be a cop, a spy, a goddamned Ghostbuster, three whole characters, there wasn't a hell of a lot from which to choose. Not if you want to dress as a person. A fat person. Like yourself.

So, you know, if you're mad that a fat woman like me comes to your Halloween party dressed up as a fat Lara Croft, direct your ire at the rest of the fucking world, which denies us a delicious array of visible fat characters we can cosplay.

And if you really want to be mad at a fat Halloween costume, how about the costumes that treat fat people's personhood itself as a costume?

Because, honestly, if you're angry about a fat person dressing like a thin fictional character, but not angry about thin people dressing like fat people as though we're monsters, you have derailed.

[Originally posted October 27, 2015.]

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This Is Intolerable

[Content Note: Violent imagery and rhetoric.]

[Tweet includes image of an effigy of Hillary Clinton with a noose around the neck.]

[Tweet includes images of sexist and racist t-shirts being sold at a Trump rally.]

I shared some other recent examples of this heinousness on Monday.

In the New York Times, there is a story about some number of Trump supporters who are either calling for or predicting violent revolution if Hillary Clinton wins.
Jared Halbrook, 25, of Green Bay, Wis., said that if Mr. Trump lost to Hillary Clinton, which he worried would happen through a stolen election, it could lead to "another Revolutionary War."

"People are going to march on the capitols," said Mr. Halbrook, who works at a call center. "They're going to do whatever needs to be done to get her out of office, because she does not belong there."

"If push comes to shove," he added, and Mrs. Clinton "has to go by any means necessary, it will be done."
The media have a lot to account for this election, when it comes to their coverage of Clinton. Among them, and at the top of the list, is their manifest refusal to simply debunk this absurd idea that the United States will become an apocalyptic hellscape if she's elected. The proliferation of this narrative came long before the "rigged" horseshit, and it was within that context that the "rigged" narrative took hold.

It's unfathomable how dangerously irresponsible the corporate media have been during this election.

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Shaker Aeryl mentioned this in comments yesterday, but for anyone who may have missed it...

[Image in tweet is of the extraordinary glass ceiling at the Javits Center.]

And there's more: "As Mother Jones reported Wednesday, Clinton's choice also trolls her rival, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who once called the building a 'catastrophe.'"

Such a nasty woman.

Heh heh heh.

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Cake, Please!

[Image in tweet is of Clinton handing out pieces of birthday cake to the press.]


You guys, I'm beginning to think that some of the things I've been reading about Hillary Clinton for 30 years aren't entirely accurate.

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Open Thread

image of a yellow couch

Hosted by a yellow sofa. Have a seat and chat!

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Question of the Day

Suggested by Shaker lupinella12: "What is your favourite dance to watch/perform?"

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

Tiffany: "I Think We're Alone Now"

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The Wednesday Blogaround

This blogaround brought to you by cumin.

Recommended Reading:

Lilly: [Content Note: Reproductive coercion; hostility to consent] What You Need to Know About Reproductive Coercion

Hayley: [CN: Misogyny] Look Out, a Teen "Meninist" Is Here to Teach Us About Periods

Fannie: [CN: Misogyny] That Michael Moore Movie

Yessenia: CDC Director Says Zika Virus "Will Become Endemic"

Monica: [CN: Racism; spoilers] The Amazing Whitewashing Adventures of Doctor Strange

Andy: Miami Crowd Shrieks as Adele Gives Full-Throated Endorsement of Hillary Clinton

Spooky: Stunning Celtic Cross Discovered in the Middle of Irish Forest

George: Our Best Glimpse Yet of a Triple Star System Being Born

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

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Photo of the Day

image of an older Black man wearing sunglasses at an outdoor Clinton-Kaine rally, sitting in the crowd, holding a framed photo of Hillary to his chest
[Photo: Michael Davidson for Hillary For America | October 24, Miami]

This election means so much to so many people. ♥

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Fat Fashion

This is your semi-regular thread in which fat women can share pix, make recommendations for clothes they love, ask questions of other fat women about where to locate certain plus-size items, share info about sales, talk about what jeans cut at what retailer best fits their body shapes, discuss how to accessorize neutral colored suits, share stories of going bare-armed for the first time, brag about a cool fashion moment, whatever.

* * *

Well, I haven't had any occasion to buy or even wear anything cool in ages, except for my Hillary 16 ringer tee. Which isn't exactly fashion, lol, but it's the best I've got when we're long overdue for a Fat Fashion thread! *wink!*

image of me wearing a heather grey and blue ringer tee with 'Hillary 16' written on it

Anyway! As always, all subjects related to fat fashion are on topic, but if you want a topic for discussion: Do you have any clothes you like to wear that advertise your politics in overt or subversive ways?

Have at it in comments! Please remember to make fat women of all sizes, especially women who find themselves regularly sizing out of standard plus-size lines, welcome in this conversation, and pass no judgment on fat women who want to and/or feel obliged, for any reason, to conform to beauty standards. And please make sure if you're soliciting advice, you make it clear you're seeking suggestions—and please be considerate not to offer unsolicited advice. Sometimes people just need to complain and want solidarity, not solutions.

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In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

This piece in the New York Times about "what drives Donald Trump" is a must-read. There's a lot of incredible stuff there, but this quote is just amazing: "I don't like to analyze myself because I might not like what I see." Welp.

DeRay McKesson has endorsed Hillary Clinton: "The next president will continue to shape the trajectory of justice and landscape of opportunity in this country. She will be responsible for how trillions of dollars in federal funding are spent, decide how to ensure both liberty and security in an increasingly interconnected world and determine the path forward on health care and Social Security. I am voting for Hillary Clinton."

[Content Note: Sexual assault; misogyny] Newt Gingrich continues to be terrible, talking to Fox anchor Megyn Kelly like she is a three-year-old he's in charge of disciplining for bad behavior.

[CN: Racism] Here is a real thing that Rudy Giuliani really said: "Racist? The last thing in the world Donald Trump is is a racist. I've known him for 28 years. The man likes white people. He likes black people. He likes Hispanic people. He plays golf with them. ...To say that Donald Trump is a racist is outrageous, and to call anyone a racist is outrageous." Uh, okay.

Meanwhile: "Donald Trump is intent on destroying the First Amendment," by my colleague Tommy Christopher at Shareblue.

[CN: Privilege] And a terrific piece by my colleague Propane Jane: "The Republican Party knows something about 'rigging' elections."

[CN: Racism; disenfranchisement] Case in point: "Indiana officials are trying to block almost 45,000 black citizens from voting." Rage seethe boil.

This fucking guy: "Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio Officially Charged with Criminal Contempt of Court."

Neat! "Cassini Spacecraft's Final Year at Saturn Is Like a 'Brand-New Mission'."

And finally! Please enjoy this video of a dog and a duck playing chase around a boulder!

Video Description: A dog that looks like a border collie mix and a black duck chase each other playfully around a boulder. When the duck gets too far behind, the dog sweetly waits for the duck to catch up, and then on the game goes!

What have you been reading?

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Sophie the Torbie Cat lying on her back in front of my desk, chewing on my mouse cord, as the mouse perches precariously on the edge of the desk

Although part of me wanted to teach her a lesson by letting the mouse inevitably drop on her head, she is far too tiny to risk an injury to her wee peanut brain. So I calmly explained to her this was a bad idea, while shooing her away, lol.

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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I haven't been keeping up with what Professor James Franco has been doing in quite some time, but of course—OF COURSE—he has something to say about this election, and it is 100% grade-A Franco.

Video Description: The ad, a product of the WomenVOTEProject, is a send-up of the Dos Equis "Most Interesting Man in the World" series of adverts, but instead features Hillary Clinton as the Most Interesting Woman in the World.

Over a series of still images and video clips of Hillary Clinton, James Franco says in voiceover: "The smartest guy in the room is always her. After she opens a can of whoop-ass, she always recycles the can. Her Secret Service code name is Hermione, because she's a fucking wizard. She's the most interesting woman in the world."

Franco appears onscreen, speaking to camera, and says: "I don't always endorse candidates—" Cut to Franco standing beside a cardboard cutout of Clinton, his arm draped over her shoulder, drinking out of a Hillary 2016 mug: "—but when I do, they're extraordinary."

Cut to the mug being set down on a table, next to a plate of toast. One piece of toast has her H-logo toasted into it, and the other has her face toasted into it. "Vote wisely, my friends" Franco says, in voiceover. Cut to Franco looking at the camera and winking.

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This Isn't Funny

[Content Note: Racism; appropriation.]

This image was going around Twitter yesterday, getting lots of laughs.

[Image in tweet shows Donald Trump at a rally, with a crowd behind him, one part of which is an older woman who appears to be white holding up a sign reading "Blacks for Trump."]

This is not funny. It's appropriative garbage. And it's even worse than that: This rally took place in Sanford, Florida—which is the town in which Trayvon Martin was killed.

Trayvon's mother, Sybrina Fulton, is (as I mentioned on Monday) on the campaign trail for Hillary Clinton.

Meanwhile, Trump is holding a rally in the town where her son was killed.

And a white woman is holding up a "Blacks for Trump" sign.


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And So It Begins

I've got a new essay at Shareblue about the media's attempts, already, to begin whitewashing their terrible coverage of this election: "They're already trying to erase what they did to Hillary Clinton."

There has indeed been an outsized amount of favorable Trump coverage, and an abandonment of critical analysis under the auspices of "balance." But there has also been widespread hostility in the press toward Clinton — and it is much more difficult, apparently, to admit one's role in that.

Understandably so, when one deep-dives into just how antagonistic the media have been to the nation's first major-party woman nominee. It would be bad enough if it had only been unjustifiably sustained criticism of Clinton, or only been endemic indifference to Clinton rolling out solid policy as Trump tried to drag her into the mud, or only been profile after profile of Trump voters played against the erroneous narrative of insufficient enthusiasm for Clinton, or only one of dozens of other demonstrable inequities in coverage.

Any one of those would warrant necessary self-reflection on the media's failures during this cycle — but it was much, much worse than that.
There is much, much more at the link.

This is going to be an important piece to keep on hand, I fear, as the erasure of what went down during this election moves into high gear in the coming weeks.

Also check out my colleague Peter Daou's piece: "Hey media, will we EVER get to see an actual Clinton supporter?"

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Happy Birthday, Hillary!

image of a US flag cake with Hillary Clinton's smiling face in the center, surrounded by a White House seal, a unicorn, an American bald eagle, a kitten wearing glasses, and a smiling daisy

I got you a nationally trending hashtag! I hope you like it!

Hope you have a wonderful birthday, you nasty woman!

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Open Thread

image of a red couch

Hosted by a red sofa. Have a seat and chat!

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Question of the Day

Suggested by Shaker Heather T: "On what wall would you like to be the fly?"

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

Sandra Bae: "You Are the Sunshine of My Life"

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Top Five

Here is your topic: Top Five Favorite Moments of This Election (So Far). Go!

Please feel welcome to share stories about why your Top Five picks are what they are, though a straight-up list is fine, too. Please refrain from negatively auditing other people's lists, because judgment discourages participation.

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Quote of the Day

"So please join me. This is bigger than me; it's bigger than any of us. It's even bigger than Donald Trump, if you can believe it!"—Hillary Clinton, on the campaign trail today.


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In the News

Here is some stuff in the news...

[Content Note: Misogyny] This is the third or fourth piece/tweetstorm I've now seen on this subject: "One GOP woman wonders why the men in her party won't defend her." I get no joy or schadenfreude in reading these things: It hurts to be let down by people you trusted, even if an outsider may feel you shouldn't have trusted them in the first place. But I do hope that the women who are coming to the realization that the GOP is not a safe place for women will recalibrate their judgments toward those of us who have long said the party was institutionally sexist, and have some more respect for the fact that we haven't just been trying to "score points" by calling out the GOP's misogyny.

[CN: Police brutality; racism] Wow: "The Justice Department has replaced the New York team of agents and lawyers investigating the death of Eric Garner, officials said, a highly unusual shake-up that could jump-start the long-stalled case and put the government back on track to seek criminal charges."

Welp: "Video surfaces of Trump heaping praise on both Clintons." In 2008, Hillary Clinton was "a great woman." Now she's "a nasty woman." Interesting.

This guy: "Khizr Khan, whose speech at the party's convention in June came at the high-water mark in Trump's poll ratings, will speak to veterans in Norfolk, Virginia, home of the world's largest naval base and some 150,000 military workers."

[CN: Misogyny; assault] "I just voted for Hillary Clinton. I cried." Just go read the whole thing.

[CN: Racism; classism] I really loved the Black Jeopardy sketch on SNL last weekend, and Jamelle Bouie does an excellent job of deconstructing why it was so terrific.

Damn: "The largest auto-scandal settlement in U.S. history was just approved. Up to $10 billion in VW buybacks starts soon."

"A rare Eastern Black Rhino was born September 12 at the Great Plains Zoo. The male calf is the third Rhino born at the Zoo and was the first Eastern Black Rhino, born as part of the Association of Zoos & Aquarium's (AZA) endangered species breeding program, since 2014." Naturally, the pix are ADORBZ.

What have you been reading?

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Olivia the White Farm Cat, chilling on the back of a blue chair
Do Not Disturb: She is busy making world takeover plans.

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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What Is This All About? (I Have a Guess!)

I've got a new piece up at Shareblue about something curious I noticed in the polling during the general election:

One of the curious things about this historic election is that pollsters have all but abandoned questioning whether the nation is "ready" for a woman president.

The question has long been a staple of polls measuring national political attitudes: "Gallup have carried out similar polls at periodic intervals since 1937, when only one-third of those polled said they would back a female candidate."

But there has not been a polling question during the general election assessing readiness, even as we come ever closer to the possibility.

...The decision to stop asking the question seems less like a celebration that the nation has passed a crucial threshold and instead like further erasure of the sexism directed at Clinton and promulgated by her opponent.

Clinton is making history, and it is frustrating how many of our institutions seem invested in concealing the contours of the seismic history she is making.
There is, as always, more at the link!

It's really strange to me that they've stopped asking, and it's also strange to me that I'm the only one covering the election who seems to have noticed!

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Oh Snap!

President Obama appeared on Jimmy Kimmel's show last night and participated in one of Kimmel's long-running sketches: Mean Tweets, in which the guest reads mean tweets people have written about them.

And I guess I don't need to tell you it was awesome.

President Obama appears onscreen, sitting and facing the camera, reading the tweets off of a mobile phone in his hand.

"Barack Obama is the Nickelback of presidents." [laughter] "Obama couldn't negotiate getting a Whopper without pickles." [laughter] @woodstockdave. Thanks, Dave. "I bet Obama likes mustard on his hotdogs because he's gross." [laughter] @duckpunks. "Just found out my daugther shares a birthday with Obama PUKE." [laughter] In caps. @momof4munchkins. "Barack Obama dances like how his jeans look." [laughter] You know, this jeans thing. This is so old. [laughter] This was years ago. Come on.

"My mom bought new conditioner and it sucks it isn't even conditioning my hair I blame Obama." [laughter] "Barack Obama...bro, do you even lift?!" [laughter] Well, I lifted the ban on Cuban cigars. That's worth something. [laughter and applause] "Barack Obama is the shark—" chuckle "Barack Obama is the sharknado of presidents. Loud, stupid, and over-hyped!" [laughter] Hashtag Sharknado 4. [laughter]

"President Obama will do down as perhaps the worst president in the history of the United States!" Exclamation point. @realDonaldTrump. [laughter] Well, @realDonaldTrump, at least I will go down as a president. [laughter, cheers, and applause]

Obama drops the phone.
Yesssssss, Mr. President! TELL HIM!

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The Walking Thread

[Content Note: Spoilers are lurching around undeadly herein. Descriptions of violence.]

image of The Walking Dead logo

This is the last Walking Thread I will ever write.

I have been covering The Walking Dead for almost exactly five years. I have made no secret of the fact that I have long been hate-watching the show, doing recaps in which I buried serious deconstruction of systemic oppressions in between all-caps sarcasm.

There have been times when I have come extremely close to throwing in the towel, but it was often the times when the show got darkest that people reached out the most plaintively to tell me how much they valued my recaps.

But I am drawing a line here. I cannot watch nor write about The Walking Dead any longer.

Last night, I watched Sunday's Season 7 premiere. By the halfway point, I felt utterly nauseated. It wasn't by the gratuitously graphic depictions of violence, which are, frankly, nothing new for the show. It was by the fact that I was being obliged to watch torture, ostensibly being carried out by Negan—a character so cartoonishly villainous that he became transparent enough through which I could see his creators.

The writers of the show are Negan. The big bad. The worst of them all.

[CN: Spoilers; violence] Deep in her review of the episode, The Daily Beast's Melissa Leon notes: "At San Diego Comic-Con this year, visitors to the show's booth posed with lifelike replicas of Negan's kneeling, would-be victims. Its cross-brand Twitter emoji on premiere night was Negan's bat. The show has gleefully done everything it can to amplify this experience."

I didn't know that when I watched the episode. I only read it afterwards; after I had already come away from the episode seeing straight through Negan's sadistic glee to the writers' room. It merely confirmed what I'd already felt.

And then I read that the episode director Greg Nicotero said on a phone call with reporters, in defense of the graphic violence: "In this instance, we felt it was important to launch us into this season to show the extent of what Negan is capable of doing because that drives so much of where the series is going from here on. It's graphic and horrible."

Not what Negan is capable of doing. What the show creators are capable of doing to their audience.

I'm not going to hang around for it.

I'm not going to watch a show that has seeks to do to its audience the very thing it is supposedly condemning. And nothing could have made more plain the increasingly malicious instinct of the creators than forcing us to watch a horrendously gruesome death of a character they were widely criticized for saving in the most manipulative way last season. Instead of making amends for shitty writing, they doubled-down and rubbed our faces in his torturous death.

That's not even about a TV show anymore. That's about human beings making a decision that is just unkind to other human beings, many of whom have long supported them.

Fuck that.

This is me checking out. Later, Grimes Gang.

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An Observation

[Content Note: Misogyny.]

Over the past few days, I've seen a lot of white dude pundits start bravely (ahem) making the case that Hillary Clinton isn't winning because Donald Trump is an unprecedentedly awful candidate, but because she's a great candidate.

In many of these tales, I see them saying it's the "untold story" of this election, or some variation thereof.


At least one lady said this almost fully one year ago: "The one glaring exception [to all of the other candidates in this election who are running for head of government but not head of state] is Hillary Clinton, whose extraordinary competence in diplomacy only highlights the deficiency in the other candidates. By virtue of having been First Lady, a senator, and Secretary of State, she is already a statesperson. It usually takes being president to elevate someone to that status (e.g. Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton), but she's already achieved it. She's frankly overqualified for the position. Which underscores just what it really takes for a woman to even be considered for the presidency. To be fucking overqualified for arguably the most demanding job on the planet."

Some of us have been noticing for quite some time that, should Clinton win, it's because she's an extraordinary candidate.

But I guess it's not as notable if we didn't spend the last 18 months trying to tear her down, only to now "discover" that she's brilliant. If you thought she was brilliant the whole time, you're just a lousy shill.

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Open Thread

Hosted by a turquoise sofa. Have a seat and chat!

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Question of the Day

Suggested by Shaker Ruby: "What are your favorite YouTube channels? Can be sociopolitical content you like, or entertaining channels you like to follow. (Since YT has a lot of awesome content, like Feminist Frequency, but is also a minefield of awful, it might be nice to have some vetted recommendations.)"

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

Deorro & J-Trick: "Rambo" (Hardwell Edit)

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The Monday Blogaround

This blogaround brought to you by garlic naan.

Recommended Reading:

Ally: [Content Note: Sexual assault; intimidation] Trump Says He'll Sue Accusers in Speech About First 100 Days in Office

Sean: [CN: Bullying] NY Times Prints Complete List of Trump's Twitter Insults

Digby: [CN: Misogyny] The Long Arduous Path to the Presidency

Mustang Bobby: [CN: Bigotry] Back to When?

Keith: [CN: Racism; violence] Emmett Till Memorial Sign Riddled with Bullets

Casey: [CN: Carcerality; death penalty] She watched her husband get sentenced to death. Now she's becoming a lawyer to save him and others.

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

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Today in Rape Culture and Also the Presidential Campaign

[Content Note: Sexual assault; rape culture. Video may autoplay at link.]

Another woman, Jessica Drake, has reported that Donald Trump sexually assaulted her. Drake said that, about a decade ago, Trump grabbed and kissed her without her consent and offered her money to accompany him to his hotel room and have sex with him.

Drake is a performer in adult films. Which does not, has not, and will never mean that a woman yields her right of consent.

But naturally, that is not what Trump thinks, who said of Drake today: "Oh, I'm sure she's never been grabbed before."

Straight out of the rape apologia playbook. Again.

I don't even know what I can say at this point that I now haven't already said a dozen times. I repudiate Trump and everything for which he stands; and I take up space in solidarity with the women who are coming forward with their stories.

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Today, Hillary Clinton is campaigning in New Hampshire with Senator Elizabeth Warren and New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan, who is running for Senate, and Warren absolutely let Donald Trump have it.

And Donald Trump disrespects—aggressively disrespects—more than half the human beings in this country. He thinks that because he has money, that he can call women "fat pigs" and "bimbos." He thinks because he is a celebrity, that he can rate women's bodies from one to ten. He thinks that because he has a mouthful of Tic Tacs, that he can force himself on any woman within groping distance.

Well, I got news for you, Donald Trump! Women have had it with guys like you! And nasty women have really had it with guys like you! Yeah.

Get this, Donald: Nasty women are tough. Nasty women are smart. And nasty women vote!

And on November 8th, we nasty women are gonna march our nasty feet to cast our nasty votes to get you out of our lives forever! Yup!

And let me also comment once again on the sartorial commentary of the Democratic candidate, Ms. Hillary Rodham Clinton. She is wearing blue. While Warren is wearing red. While Hassan is wearing purple.

I see what you did there, ladies! A+

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In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

RIP Tom Hayden. "Tom Hayden, the preeminent 1960s radical who roused a generation of alienated young Americans, became a symbol of militancy by leading riotous protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, and added Hollywood glamour to his mystique with an activist partnership and marriage to film star Jane Fonda, died Oct. 23 in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 76." Truly an end of an era. My condolences to his family, friends, colleagues, and fans.

Katie Klabusich was kind enough to have me on her show again, and you can listen to it here!

[Content Note: Hacking; sexual assault; misogyny] This is a really fascinating read: "Inside the Strange, Paranoid World of Julian Assange." Another case of "this is a guy who clearly has a problem with women, which is why you maybe should have never turned him into a hero in the first place," but don't mind Cassandra!

[CN: Climate change] Damn: "Levels of CO2 in the atmosphere have surged past an important threshold and may not dip below it for 'many generations.' The 400 parts per million benchmark was broken globally for the first time in recorded history in 2015. But according to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), 2016 will likely be the first full year to exceed the mark. The high levels can be partly attributed to a strong El Niño event."

Ugh. "AT&T/Time Warner deal could be approved without any FCC merger review."

[CN: Guns; racism] The Mothers of the Movement continue to campaign with and for Hillary Clinton, making their case for why they hope people will vote—and vote for her.

Donald Trump's strategy of trying to depress enthusiasm among Clinton supporters by dragging the campaign down in the dirt has wildly backfired: "The key finding in the new ABC News tracking poll, which finds Clinton leading among likely voters nationally by 50-38, is that affirmative support for Clinton among her supporters, as opposed to a motivator only rooted in dislike for the other side, is growing. As ABC's polling memo notes, the percentage of Clinton supporters who say their vote will be for her [as opposed to against Trump] is at a new high." And it's increased 16 points since early September.

LOVE: "That look when you cap off a day on the trail by watching the Cubs cement their trip to the World Series."

Awwwww: "Grandma Gets Emotional When Family Surprises Her with Puppy." The puppy she always wanted!

What have you been reading?

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Matilda the Fuzzy Sealpoint Cat wrapped in a blanket, looking all sleepy, with her whiskers curled around pointing toward her nose
Cat Bedhead is waking up from your nap with your whiskers pointing the wrong way.

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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Quote of the Day

Image Description: Photo of Tim Kaine in front of a U.S. flag, wearing a Hillary pin, smiling. Text added to the photo by me reads: "I'm so proud to be a strong man supporting a strong woman who will be the next president of the United States."

Kaine said these words during a huge rally in Philly that he attended with Hillary Clinton in front of a huge crowd over the weekend.

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This Is Disgusting

[Content Note: Violent imagery.]

Donald Trump held a rally in Virginia Beach over the weekend, and, along with the usual vile chants toward Hillary Clinton, there was a disgusting display of violent imagery toward her on display.

[Tweet includes image of Trump supporter holding up Trump sign with Clinton's face in a target.]

[Tweet includes image of a Trump supporter holding up an effigy on Clinton's head on a stake.]

[Tweet includes image of a Trump supporter holding up a poster with Clinton's face in a target.]

This is absolutely despicable. Trump clearly did not invent vicious hatred toward Clinton, but he has inflamed it and he has exploited it and he tolerates it.

This man has to be rejected with a massive landslide and his campaign of white nationalist and misogynist hatred forcefully repudiated by voters.

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Think About What This Says About Her

I've got a new piece at Shareblue about what it says about Hillary Clinton that she's dedicated so much of her life and career advocating for children:

Hillary Clinton often says that she has spent her life advocating for children, women, and families. She has — but rarely do we consider what this says about her.

And, more specifically, how it crushes so many pernicious narratives about her.

Does someone who is, as she is so frequently said to be, ruthlessly ambitious, who will stop at nothing to seize ever more power, dedicate her life to children, who cannot vote? Who cannot give her money? Who have no cultural power to grant to her?

Part of the reason that there are so few politicians who center their work around children is for this very reason. Children are a special interest group with nothing immediate to offer in exchange for advocacy on their behalf.

When children are invoked in political discourse, it is rarely as their own rights-bearing citizens with diverse needs, but generally as dehumanized political justification for harming a marginalized population from whom they need to be "saved" or "protected." Pro-choice activists, LGBTx people, atheists, etc.

They are often rhetorical tools to most politicians, rather than a demographic in need of passionate advocates.

But not to Hillary Clinton.
As always, there's more at the link!

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Open Thread

image of a purple sofa

Hosted by a purple sofa. Have a seat and chat!

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The Virtual Pub Is Open

image of a pub Photoshopped to be named 'The I'm With Her Pub'
[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

Travis: "Flowers in the Window"

This week's TMNS has been brought to you by Scottish bands.

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The Friday Blogaround

This blogaround brought to you by hazelnuts.

Recommended Reading:

Angry Asian Man: Help Defend Asian American Voting Rights on Election Day

Sasha: Clinton Drops Another Trump Burn After Night of Jokes

Jorge: Hillary Went Out and Partied with Latinx Voters After Crushing Trump in Vegas Debate

Keith: [CN: Sexual violence] Jurors Pose for Photos with Derrick Rose Following Conclusion of Rape Trial

Andy: [CN: Transphobia] Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Rebrands Anti-LGBT Bathroom Bill as 'Women's Privacy Act'

Charline: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Talks Empowerment Through Cosmetics as Face of a New Makeup Campaign

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

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"Would my son have a place in your America?"

[Content Note: War; death; Islamophobia.]

Khizr Khan, the father of a Muslim U.S. soldier who gave his life for his country in Iraq, came to be known by most of us when he used his platform at the Democratic convention to ask the Republican nominee: "Donald Trump, you're asking Americans to trust you with their future. Let me ask you: Have you even read the United States Constitution?"

Now, he is featured in a powerful and moving new ad for Hillary Clinton, despite the fact that his speaking out has had a steep cost for his family.

In 2004, my son was stationed in Iraq. He saw a suicide bomber approaching his camp. My son moved forward to stop the bomber, when the bomb exploded. He saved everyone in his unit. Only one American soldier died. My son was Captain Humayun Khan. He was 27 years old, and he was a Muslim American. I want to ask Mr. Trump: Would my son have a place in your America?
I feel very grateful for Mr. Khan's continued willingness to share his story and perspective during this election, in spite of the risk. I regret the reasons he has been obliged to do so. We need his voice. I value it enormously.

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I See What You're Doing, Donald Trump

[Content Note: Misogyny; racism.]

Donald Trump went off on Michelle Obama today, in a very particular way, and I am incandescently angry about it. I've got a new piece at Shareblue deconstructing exactly what he's up to:

Trump is mischaracterizing the First Lady's eight-year-old words, and in a very particular and pernicious way.

He is attempting to create a rift in what has been seen as a profoundly inspiring political partnership between two of the most prominent and admired women in the nation, who are strongly allied on the subject of women's empowerment and eradicating gender bias.

And who are united in condemning his attitudes and behavior toward women, and united in trying to defeat him.

So he is attempting to drive a wedge between them, and subvert the unified passion so many women across the nation have for the work Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton are doing together on our behalf.

This is an age-old disruptive strategy used by anti-feminist men, particularly white men who are unnerved by seeing alliances between Black and non-Black feminists.

Trump further suggests that his mischaracterization of Obama's words give him license to personally attack Clinton.

This is an ugly, despicable thing he's said — part of a long, ugly, despicable history of dividing to conquer feminist women.
There is more at the link, including video, with a complete transcript, of what he said.

The way this will get reported is that he's just being his usual bullying self, this time with the First Lady in his target. But it's much more sinister than that. And he knows it, even if most of the people listening to him don't.

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In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Misogyny] A Republican Congressman from Texas defended Donald Trump sneering into his microphone "such a nasty woman" during the third presidential debate, because "a lady needs to be told when she's being nasty." Yes, that's a real thing that happened, and I've got a piece at Shareblue on it.

Good news in reproductive health: "A federal judge on Thursday sided with women's health provider Planned Parenthood in a lawsuit aiming to block a Mississippi law that barred medical providers that perform abortions from participating in the state's Medicaid program. The decision by U.S. District Judge Daniel Jordan III is the latest in a string of rulings striking down similar laws elsewhere in the country against the women's health provider. Jordan's two-page order noted a ruling from the 5th U.S. District Court of Appeals that rejected a similar law in Louisiana, saying 'essentially every court to consider similar laws has found that they violate' federal law."

Former RNC Chair Michael Steele says he won't be voting for Trump. I'm not surprised that Steele isn't supporting him, but I didn't realize this: "Steele is the third former Republican National Committee Chairman to say he won't support Trump." Welp.

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] This MIT-engineered crib to help babies sleep looks amazing. Please make one for adults and then take my money.

Awwwwww: "Experts Say Dogs Dream About Their Humans; People Can't Stop Crying."

What have you been reading?

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