[Explanations: lol your fat. pathetic anger bread. hey your gay.]
Belly up to the bar,
and be in this space together.
This blogaround brought to you by sunshine.
Jessica: [Content Note: Trans hatred] Title IX Protects Trans Students, No Matter What the Trump Administration Believes
Violet: I Need You to #ShowUp4TransYouth
Sameer: Charleston Activist Freed After Arrest for Knocking Down Confederate Flag
Jorge: [CN: Nativism; racism] Inside the Heartbreaking Conversations Undocumented Parents Are Having with Their Children
Ragen: [CN: Fat hatred; child abuse] Stanford Children's Hospital Excited to Harm Fat Kids
Pam: Reviving the Fine Art of Bitchitude
Vivian: [CN: Anti-feminism; moving GIF at link] No Surprise, Kellyanne Conway Defines Feminism as "Pro-Abortion" and "Anti-Male"
Leave your links and recommendations in comments. Self-promotion welcome and encouraged!
[Content Note: Misogynoir; police brutality; images of police violence against Black women and girls.]
Via Monica Roberts, I just watched this video of Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw giving a TED talk on intersectionality in December. Please take the time to watch and/or listen to the entire thing. A complete transcript is also available.
Spencer Ackerman at the Guardian: White House Confirms Conversation with FBI about Trump and Russia.
The White House has confirmed that its chief of staff spoke with top FBI officials about the bureau's inquiry into links between Donald Trump's associates and Russia—a conversation which appears to violate justice department rules to ensure the integrity of investigations.There is much more at the link.
The administration had sought to push back against reports from CNN and the Associated Press that the chief of staff, Reince Priebus, had asked the FBI's top two officials to rebut news reports about Trump allies' ties to Russia.
But in doing so, the White House on Friday acknowledged that Priebus, the FBI director, James Comey, and deputy director, Andrew McCabe, had discussed what the FBI knew about Russian ties to the Trump presidential campaign.
"The White House appears to have violated accepted protocols and procedures," said former FBI special agent Ali Soufan.
...Another retired FBI special agent, Michael German, said the FBI leadership had potentially jeopardized an investigation.
"It is illegal for an FBI employee to take information from an ongoing criminal investigation and share it with a potential witness or subject of that investigation. Obviously, if the justice department ultimately initiates a prosecution in this matter, this purported conversation would be exculpating evidence. Again, if it is true that high bureau officials believe the current FBI investigation is [bullshit], they should close the investigation and be prepared to justify this decision, not leak their opinion to anyone outside of the investigation," German said.
After an afternoon address at CPAC in whcih Donald Trump renewed his attacks on American journalism and unnamed press sources, the White House excluded a number of news organizations from its press gaggle.
According to a report from Michael M. Grymbaum at the New York Times:
Organizations allowed in included Breitbart News, the One America News Network and The Washington Times, all with conservative leanings. Journalists from ABC, CBS, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and Fox News also attended.
Reporters from Time magazine and The Associated Press, who were set to be allowed in to the briefing, chose not to attend in protest of the White House’s actions.
Jordan Fabian at The Hill reports:
Among the outlets not permitted to cover the gaggle were news organizations that President Trump has singled out for criticism, including CNN.
The New York Times, The Hill, Politico, BuzzFeed, the Daily Mail, BBC, the Los Angeles Times and the New York Daily News were among the other news organizations not permitted to attend.
Among other things, I note that the BBC is not even an American press outlet. It is, in fact, the journalism arm of the public service broadcaster of one of the United States' closest allies.
CNN's PR tweeted the following response:
Of the non-propaganda outlets in attendance, I hope the first question is: "Why did you exclude those organizations?" And when the question is stonewalled, I hope the next question is "Why did you exclude those organizations?" And so on.
It goes without saying, but: this is not what free and open democracy looks like. This is what it looks like to slide into authoritarian dictatorship.
Please feel free to update in comments.
In a statement to Rolling Stone, a spokesperson for CBP said the agency had been asked "to assist in locating an individual possibly aboard Delta flight 1583" who had been "ordered removed by an immigration judge." The spokesman added that CBP agents "requested identification from those on the flight" but that ultimately "[t]he individual was determined not to be on the flight."Deeply troubling.
Rolling Stone asked CBP to point to its statutory authority to stop and examine the identity documents of deplaning domestic passengers. The spokesman sent a link to a document titled CBP Search Authority. The document refers to CBP's authority to inspect international arrivals. Specifically, it cites 19 C.F.R. 162.6, which states, "All persons, baggage and merchandise arriving in the Customs territory of the United States from places outside thereof are liable to inspection by a CBP officer." The CBP document adds: "CBP has the authority to collect passenger name record information on all travelers entering or leaving the United States." (Emphasis added.)
Asked to clarify CBP's authority over domestic passengers, the spokesman replied that "at this time this is all I have."
TRUMP: All of our military, all of our military—offensive, defensive, everything—bigger and better and stronger than ever before—and hopefully we'll never have to use it, but nobody's gonna mess with us, folks. Nobody. [cheers and applause] It will be one of the greatest military build-ups in American history. No one will dare question, as they have been, because we're very depleted—very, very depleted—sequesture. Sequesture. Nobody will dare question our military might again. We believe in peace through strength, and that's what we will have. [cheers and applause]Who the fuck even knows what "sequesture" is supposed to mean, since that is not a word. But, more importantly: Remember that this is the guy who wanted to know why we had nukes if we couldn't use them. So, in addition to all the other reasons why a massive military build-up is a terrible idea, we'd be building a giant, immensely deadly toy with which Trump would want to play.
Crowd at CPAC waving these little pro-Trump flags that look exactly like the Russian flag. Staffers quickly come around to confiscate them. pic.twitter.com/YhPpkwFCNc— Peter Hamby (@PeterHamby) February 24, 2017
[Content Note: Gun violence; death; white supremacy.]
This is terrorism. At least, that's what it would be called if it were a non-white and/or non-Christian man who committed a crime like this.
A 51-year-old man faces first-degree murder charges after shooting three men in an Olathe, Kan., bar Wednesday night, police say, reportedly telling two of them, local Garmin engineers from India, to "get out of my country."My deepest condolences to Srinivas Kuchibhotla's family, friends, and colleagues. My thoughts are with Alok Madasani and Ian Grillot as they recover from their injuries.
One of the Indian men, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, died in the hospital later from his wounds.
...Adam W. Purinton, 51, of Olathe, was also charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder for shooting two other patrons at Austin’s Bar and Grill: Alok Madasani, 32, of Overland Park, Kan., and 24-year-old Ian Grillot, who tried to intervene.
...Witnesses told the Kansas City Star and The Washington Post that Purinton was thought to have been kicked out of the bar Wednesday night before the shooting took place. ...He reportedly came back into the bar and hurled racial slurs at the two Indian men, including comments that suggested he thought they were of Middle Eastern descent.
Purinton, a Navy veteran, IT specialist, and former pilot and air traffic controller, was taken into custody about 70 miles away in Clinton, Mo., authorities told the Associated Press.Taken into custody alive, after shooting three people. It's amazing how white killers are somehow always taken alive, but Black people selling loose cigarettes or pulled over for a traffic violation or running away from police out of fear so often end up dead.
[Content Note: Trans hatred; sexual assault.]
I have always loathed—and always will—the despicable attempts to justify discrimination against trans people under the auspices of "protecting" me.
The "trans predator" meme is wretched trash: It was wretched trash when Phyllis Schlafly was using it to tank the ERA before my ancient ass was ever born, and it is wretched trash now.
I am incandescently angry that people who support policy that will harm trans people, including children, make the indefensible and malicious argument that I need to be "protected" from trans women in bathrooms, or anywhere else.
It has always been a vile argument.
But there's something even more grotesque about trans protections being revoked, and such revocation being defended on the basis of protecting cis women from imaginary trans predators, when it comes from the administration of a president who is, by his own admission, a confessed serial sexual predator.
A man who has bragged about grabbing women by their genitals. A man who has boasted about peeking at naked pageant contestants in their dressing rooms.
Don't fucking tell me that you give a single shit about protecting cis women from sexual violence when you happily support a man who has assaulted women and gloated about it; whose ex-wife gave sworn testimony that he sexually assaulted her; who counts among his friends a convicted rapist; who sexualizes his own daughters; who threatened to sue the dozen-plus women who reported he sexually assaulted them.
Everything about the rollback of trans protections is bullshit—the aggressive void of basic decency, the "state's rights" dodge that ensures the people who are most vulnerable by virtue of where they live are least likely to get the protection they need and deserve, the arrogance of cis people asserting the "right" to audit trans lives under the auspices of "different opinions"—but the fact that, this time, the purveyor of this hostile filth is himself a sexual predator is utterly rage-inducing.
It is unfathomable that anyone would make such cynical, unsubstantiable, harmful arguments about "protecting" cis women in the first place. That they will make them when the signature on the rescindment paper belongs to a man who has himself harmed countless women is unforgivable.
White House chief of staff Reince Priebus asked a top FBI official to dispute media reports that President Donald Trump's campaign advisers were frequently in touch with Russian intelligence agents during the election, a White House official said late Thursday.So, Donald Trump's chief of staff reportedly tried to interfere with and FBI investigation. And what does Trump tweet this morning? Criticism of the FBI for leaks.
The official said Priebus' request came after the FBI told the White House it believed a New York Times report last week describing those contacts was not accurate.
..."The White House is simply not permitted to pressure the FBI to make public statements about a pending investigation of the president and his advisers," said Michigan Rep. John Conyers, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee.
The FBI is totally unable to stop the national security "leakers" that have permeated our government for a long time. They can't even......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2017
find the leakers within the FBI itself. Classified information is being given to media that could have a devastating effect on U.S. FIND NOW— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2017
Suggested by Shaker Socchan: "What's your band name (real or imaginary)? My current imaginary band name is the Cautionary Accidentals."
Deeky's and my imaginary band is called Bad Hombre and the Nasty Woman. Obvs.
This is just a really terrific interview with Keanu Reeves, who is one of my favorites. And it does not contain any discussion at all of electoral politics or our shitbird of a president, which made it an even bigger pleasure to read!
So, if you like Keanu Reeves, or even if you don't but would like to read about something else besides Donald Trump, you may enjoy it, too!
Note: There are spoilers for John Wick in it, if you haven't seen it yet but intend to see it.
As I mentioned earlier, this morning Donald Trump referred to his administration's deportatation enforcement as a "military operation."
"We're getting really bad dudes out of this country. And it's a military operation because what has been allowed to come into our country," he said.
Later in the day, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly said the complete opposite.
BREAKING: US Homeland Security Secretary Kelly vows `no mass deportations,' no use of US military in immigration enforcement.— The Associated Press (@AP) February 23, 2017
REPORTER: The president said today that the deportations taking place under his watch are a military operation; Secretary Kelly said the military won't be involved in deportations. Did the president misspeak?Yikes.
SPICER: Yeah, so, I'll take the latter first: The president was using that as an adjective—it's happening with precision. And in a manner in which it's being done very, very clearly. I think we made it clear in the past, and Secretary Kelly reiterated it, what kind of operation this was. But the president was clearly describing the manner in which this was being done. And so, just to be clear on his use of that phrase— And I think the way it's being done, by all accounts, is being done with very much, very, a high degree of precision and in a flawless manner in terms of making sure that the orders are carried out and it's done in a very streamlined and efficient manner.
[Content Note: Bigotry; privilege; rape culture.]
The New York Times' Nicholas Kristof is 'splaining at us again: "Trump Voters Are Not the Enemy."
Tolerance is a liberal value; name-calling isn't. This raises knotty questions about tolerating intolerance, but is it really necessary to start with a blanket judgment writing off 46 percent of voters?Deep breath.
...Go ahead and denounce Trump's lies and bigotry. Stand firm against his disastrous policies. But please don't practice his trick of "otherizing" people into stick-figure caricatures, slurring vast groups as hopeless bigots. We're all complicated, and stereotypes are not helpful — including when they're of Trump supporters.
The Trump administration on Wednesday revoked federal guidelines specifying that transgender students have the right to use public school restrooms that match their gender identity, taking a stand on a contentious issue that has become the central battle over LGBT rights.Which is impossible if those students aren't even allowed to take a piss in a restroom that corresponds with their gender.
Officials with the federal Education and Justice departments notified the U.S. Supreme Court late Wednesday that the administration is ordering the nation's schools to disregard memos the Obama administration issued during the past two years regarding transgender student rights. Those memos said that prohibiting transgender students from using facilities that align with their gender identity violates federal anti-discrimination laws.
...Although it offered no clarity or direction to schools that have transgender students, the letter added that "schools must ensure that all students, including LGBT students, are able to learn and thrive in a safe environment."
Milo is out of @CPAC, but Scott Walker just made a tut-tutting reference to "angry mobs who stop people from speaking on campus."— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) February 23, 2017
[Content Note: Disablism; appearance and name mockery.]
Earlier this month, I wrote a piece in which I explained that I don't care what Donald Trump looks like and that I'm not interested in armchair diagnoses of his mental health. Noting that Trump is himself an inveterate bully, I argued: "We must fight in a way that does not simply replicate the very harm we're resisting."
Still, there remains an endless stream of lookism, fat hatred, disablism, and name mockery up and down my social media timelines.
Almost exactly a year ago, before Trump had even won his party's nomination, I wrote a piece about why that's a problem, on several counts:
If you care about not stigmatizing people with mental illness, or not tacitly condoning looks-based bullying, or allowing people to go by whatever name they choose (which has particular importance to trans people), then you will be keen to find other ways to talk about Donald Trump.I then acknowledged that it can be useful—and feels good—to have some creative shorthand to convey just how terrible Trump is, so I provided 50 ways to say that Trump is the fucking worst that don't rely on appearance or name mockery, nor entrench stigma around mental illness.
Which is to say nothing of the fact that calling him crazy, or making fun of his appearance, or mocking his name, doesn't convey even a little how heinous his policies are and what a dangerous person he is.
That's why it's important to say what you mean. If you mean Donald Trump is indecent, say that. If you mean that Donald Trump is a bully, say that. If you mean that Donald Trump is a vainglorious poseur who incessantly disgorges rank bigotry masquerading as policy, then say that.
Paul Ryan tweeted this on Tuesday:
Freedom is the ability to buy what you want to fit what you need. Obamacare is Washington telling you what to buy regardless of your needs.— Paul Ryan (@PRyan) February 21, 2017
I tried to buy long term disability insurance this year and was denied because I'm judged slightly likely to use it. https://t.co/C1a41Ta6UX— Ana Mardoll (@AnaMardoll) February 22, 2017