In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Anti-choice harassment; privacy violations; war on agency] Anti-choice hackers have attacked Planned Parenthood's website and "released Planned Parenthood's website databases as well as names and email addresses of the organization's employees. It does not appear that the breach exposed the personal data of patients or employees of Planned Parenthood's affiliate organizations. ...One of the hackers, who goes by the pseudonym 'E,' told the Daily Dot that the cyberattack was politically motivated. 'Trying to mold an atrocious monstrosity into socially acceptable behaviors is repulsive,' said E. 'Obviously what [Planned Parenthood] does is a very ominous practice. It'll be interesting to see what surfaces when [Planned Parenthood] is stripped naked and exposed to the public.' ...On the website featuring the database dump, the hackers gave some insight into their possible motivations. 'We've noticed quite a lot of attention has been diverted to a supposedly malicious organization known as Planned Parenthood. The actions of this 'federation' are not seen as right in the eyes of the public. So here we are, the social justice warriors, seeking to reclaim some sort of lulz for the years and thousands of dollars that Planned Parenthood have wasted and made harvesting your babies.'" Jesus fucking Jones.

[continued CN] Meanwhile, this is how the Washington Post opens their story on this attack: "Planned Parenthood has been swept up in a storm of controversy in recent weeks, after an antiabortion group started to release undercover videos of officials at the organization discussing how it provides organs from aborted fetuses for research. Now, even the group's Web site is on the defense." FUCK YOU. That is not how any responsible news organization should talk about the latest attacks in what is the most brazen, unapologetic terrorist campaign in the US.

[continued CN] In good news: "California Attorney General Kamala Harris will review whether the group behind the Planned Parenthood attack videos violated any laws in making the deceitful recordings, which depict Planned Parenthood officials talking about the organization's legal fetal tissue donation program."

In other "liberal media" news, the New York Times has published the most absurdly anodyne "Editors' Note" about their terrible and irresponsible coverage of Clinton's personal email account usage while serving as Secretary of State.

[CN: Violence; death; assault] A woman who is a sex worker killed a client in self-defense after her assaulted her, and police suspect the man she killed may have been a serial killer responsible for the deaths of other women. I grieve that she was placed in that situation, but she may not have just saved her own life, but the lives of many others. Wow.

Congratulations to Jen Welter, who has been hired by the Arizona Cardinals football team as an assistant coaching intern, making her "the first woman to hold a coaching position of any kind in the NFL." I don't give the tiniest shit about the NFL, nor am I inclined to give their foul organization an ounce of credit for hiring a woman, but good for her for achieving something she really wants!

[CN: Hunting; animal abuse; images of killed animals] As if hunting for sport isn't repulsive enough, these big game hunters who don't even "hunt" so much as walk up to lured, drugged, or captured animals and shoot them are disgusting human beings: "Cecil the lion—the most famous creature in one of Zimbabwe's national parks—was killed by an American hunter who has boasted about shooting a menagerie of animals with his bow and arrow... Conservation groups in Zimbabwe reacted angrily to the news that the 13-year-old animal had been killed: partly because the lion was known to visitors and seemingly enjoyed human contact, and partly because of the way in which he was killed. He was lured out of the national park [using bait] and shot. ...Animals cannot be killed within the confines of the park." Sob.

[CN: Homophobia] Honestly, if it weren't the Pride flag that had accidentally be flown in place of the US flag, would anyone have even noticed and would the Mayor of Reno be expected to apologize? Good grief.

[CN: Climate change; disablist language] Well played, Hillary Clinton. Well played.

Boo: Rihanna wasn't allowed to walk with protesters in Baltimore and give a free concert. The permit was denied, or never granted. Shitty.

Wow: "Europe's Sentinel-2a satellite is on course to go into full operation in early or mid-October. The spacecraft, which takes visible and infrared pictures of the Earth, was launched in June and is now undergoing a period of commissioning." There are some sample images at the link, and they are pretty incredible.

[CN: Gifs at links] Tom Hardy and a baby elephant! I repeat: TOM HARDY AND A BABY ELEPHANT!!!!!!!

And finally! Animals who want to be photographers. Aww, lol.

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Quote of the Day

"I actually think I'm a pretty good president. I think if I ran, I could win."President Barack Obama, on his success as president and what his political fortunes might be if the Constitution allowed a third term.

Despite the fact that there are still times I disagree with the President, as I have with every president for whom I've ever voted and expect I will for the rest of my life, I agree that President Obama is a pretty good president (and then some), and I'm going to miss him when he's no longer our president.

And I really like seeing him own that he's been a good president. He should. He has been.

Especially lately.

Maude how I love me a liberal president in his last two years who doesn't feel the need to be cautious anymore.

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Trump Is Terrible; Surrounded by Terrible People

[Content Note: Sexual assault; domestic violence; rape apologia; threats.]

In the early '90s, the entrepreneur, socialite, and author Ivana Trump, who is also the first ex-wife of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, disclosed during their divorce proceedings that Donald Trump had attacked and raped her. Her description of the incident constitutes rape, and she originally described it as rape in a deposition, although she later backed away from using the word, saying that, during the sexual interaction in question, "he behaved very differently toward me than he had during our marriage. As a woman, I felt violated, as the love and tenderness, which he normally exhibited towards me, was absent. I referred to this as a 'rape,' but I do not want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense."

In covering this incident, and Donald Trump's many problematic public comments about rape, for The Daily Beast, Tim Mak and Brandy Zadrozny reached out to Michael Cohen, special counsel at The Trump Organization, for comment. Cohen responded:

"You're talking about the frontrunner for the GOP, presidential candidate, as well as a private individual who never raped anybody. And, of course, understand that by the very definition, you can't rape your spouse."

"It is true," Cohen added. "You cannot rape your spouse. And there's very clear case law."
That is not accurate. Although, incredibly, it wasn't until 1993 that spousal rape had been criminalized in all 50 states, New York struck down its marital rape exemption in 1984, five years before Donald assaulted Ivana.

Which, of course, is to say nothing of the fact that spousal rape was still rape even before the law recognized it thus.

Cohen then went on to threaten the reporter, in an attempt to stop publication of the story:
Trump's lawyer then changed tactics, lobbing insults and threatening a lawsuit if a story was published.

"I will make sure that you and I meet one day while we're in the courthouse. And I will take you for every penny you still don't have. And I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know," Cohen said. "So I'm warning you, tread very fucking lightly, because what I'm going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting. You understand me?"

"You write a story that has Mr. Trump's name in it, with the word 'rape,' and I'm going to mess your life up… for as long as you're on this frickin' planet… you're going to have judgments against you, so much money, you'll never know how to get out from underneath it," he added.
Cohen went on to call the reporter to whom he was speaking "an idiot," suggest the reporter was going "to ruin [hir] life at the age of 20...and I'll be happy to serve it right up to you," and threaten a $500 million lawsuit, the serving of which would be "my absolute pleasure."

This is the way the Trump Organization gets shit done—threatening to ruin lives, to bury them in lawsuits, to do things that are "fucking disgusting" in order to silence them.

Ivana Trump did not have a comment before the story was published, but has since given a statement calling the story, despite the fact that it was based on her own deposition, "totally without merit."
"I have recently read some comments attributed to me from nearly 30 years ago at a time of very high tension during my divorce from Donald. The story is totally without merit. Donald and I are the best of friends and together have raised three children that we love and are very proud of. I have nothing but fondness for Donald and wish him the best of luck on his campaign. Incidentally, I think he would make an incredible president."
Well, maybe that's true. Maybe she just made a false rape allegation against Donald Trump and somehow they're still the best of friends. Or maybe Ivana Trump, whose 1991 divorce decree "involved a gag order that keeps her from talking about her marriage to Donald Trump without his permission," is not able to say anything but that she is a liar and he is awesome.

I'm sure no one has ever threatened to do something "fucking disgusting" to her if she fails to sing Donald Trump's praises. I'm sure that's something that only happens to strangers.

I am, of course, not sure of those things at all.

But I'm not interested in trying to decide for Ivana Trump what happened to her. I'm interested in the fact that Trump's counsel feels it's entirely reasonable to intimidate members of the press, who are reporting on legal depositions, not rumors.

And I'm horrified by the fact that Donald Trump's counsel's first response was to say, wrongly, that it wasn't even legally possible for Donald Trump to rape his wife.

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[Content Note: Weight loss and diet talk.]

I opened my inbox this morning to find this waiting for me:

screen cap of an email header from 'Dr. Oz Newest Fat Burner' with the subject line 'Hi Melissa Mcewan [sic] EAT THIS, NEVER DIET AGAIN'

LOL whooooooops your targeted marketing!

I'm sorry—you have reached the inbox of a person who does not diet and also hates you. Goodbye.

The body of the email warned me that if I didn't learn about and start eating this thing RIGHT AWAY, I would "hate myself." Which is a pretty rich thing to say from a company whose entire purpose is to try to make me hate myself, and then prey on that hatred to sell me things.

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Open Thread

image of puppets from the old Thunderbirds TV series

Hosted by Thunderbirds.

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Question of the Day

Suggested by Shaker Brenda A.: "What are the top three authors you would recommend, and why?"

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Ugh True Detective

[Content Note: Spoilers for the current season of True Detective may appear in comments, though there are none in the main post.]

Are any of y'all watching season two of True Detective, starring Rachel McAdams, Colin Farrell, Taylor Kitsch, Vince Vaughn, and fully eleventy million overhead shots of highways?

I really liked the first season, but my god this season is dreadful. (At least I think it is! Maybe you love it! In which case you should definitely tell me why! Because I would find that very interesting and that is not sarcastic!) This was my Twitter review after last night's episode, which was the sixth of eight episodes:

screen cap of tweet authored by me reading: 'My one quibble about #TrueDetective S2 is that I don't care about the plot, the case, or any of the characters. Other than that, it's great.'

Maybe I should just be spending my Sunday nights reading Thomas Ligotti instead, ahem.

I just don't even know how this could not be working, since I am honestly a huge fan of McAdams, Farrell, Kitch, and Vaughn (at least his earlier stuff; not so much his later comedies). But it's sooooooo boring! Who even cares! About any of it! Literally the only thing I care about is telling that slouchy police chief to SIT UP AND SPEAK CLEARLY, because I can't understand a word he says!

It's giving me blue balls in my ears! Or something.

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Good News

[Content Note: Animal endangerment.]

President Obama has announced "sweeping bans to the United States' ivory trade in the hopes of protecting the increasingly endangered African elephant."

Created in response to what the Fish and Wildlife Service called "the alarming rise in poaching of the [African elephant] to fuel the growing illegal trade in ivory," the new proposed measures ban the sale of ivory across state lines — with specific, limited exceptions for certain pre-existing items like musical instruments or furniture — and further restrict commercial exports. Prior to Saturday's announcement, ivory regulations in the United States have mostly targeted commercial import and export of the material. Legal ivory — found in various antique items or imported to the United States before 1990 and obtained before 1978 — has been allowed to be sold across state lines.

"By tightening domestic controls on trade in elephant ivory and allowing only very narrow exceptions, we will close existing avenues that are exploited by traffickers and address ivory trade that poses a threat to elephants in the wild," FWS Director Dan Ashe said in a press statement. "Federal law enforcement agents will have clearer lines by which to demarcate legal from illegal trade."

Poaching for ivory is one of the main threats that African elephants face. According to a 2014 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 100,000 elephants were killed by poachers between 2010 and 2012. In 2011 — the peak year for elephant deaths, according to the study — one out of every 12 African elephants was killed by a poacher, amounting to nearly three deaths every hour.

...The United States represents the second-largest market for ivory in the world, behind Asia. In 2012, the most recent year for which the FWS has complete data, some 1,000 items containing elephant ivory were seized at U.S. ports.

..."The United States is among the world's largest consumers of wildlife, both legal and illegal," Ashe said. "We want to ensure our nation is not contributing to the scourge of poaching that is decimating elephant populations across Africa."
Naturally, this isn't going to completely halt poaching nor is going to completely halt black market ivory sales, but we've got to do what we can in order to put a dent in both. With elephants being killed at a rate of about 35,000 annually, extinction is not just a possibility but a certainty, if we don't do something.

And we must. We must have elephants. Because everything is better with elephants.

image of two baby elephants walking along with their herd, holding each other's trunks

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The Monday Blogaround

This blogaround brought to you by pizza.

Recommended Reading:

Kurt: How the New York Times Bungled the Hillary Clinton Emails Story

Ragen: [Content Note: Fat hatred; bullying] Screaming at Fat People for Fun and Profit

Akiba and Laylah: Inside the Movement for Black Lives National Convening

Mark: [CN: Police brutality; sexual violence] Portland Police Officer Accused of 7-Hour Sexual Assault Gets Paid Vacation

Jessica: Netflix Creating Tween Animated Series Featuring STEM-Skilled Spy Girls

Robbie: A New Migration Record for Blue Whales, and Why It's Important

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

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

The Cure: "Lullaby"

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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.

* * *

image of me on my front porch, with super spiky hair and a t-shirt that says 'Give Sarcasm a Chance'

We haven't had a Fat Fashion thread in weeks, but I also haven't bought any new clothing in months! So here's a picture of me from May wearing one of my favorite t-shirts, procured from Torrid, admonishing the world to give sarcasm a chance. Do it for the kids!

By the way, Torrid is having a 30% off sale today, so if anyone's been waiting to buy something from Torrid until they had a good sale on, today might be your day.

Anyway! As always, all subjects related to fat fashion are on topic, but if you want a topic for discussion: When is the last time you bought a piece of clothing for yourself, whether just a splurge or a practical necessity?

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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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Dudley the Greyhound curled into a funny position with his legs in the air, asleep on the loveseat
This goofy dog. ♥

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...

RIP Bobbi Kristina Brown. My condolences to her family, friends, and fans.

[Content Note: Police brutality; racism; death] Native American activist Rexdale W. Henry, 53, was found dead on July 14 inside his cell at the Neshoba County Jail in Philadelphia, Mississippi, where he was being detained following his arrest on July 9 for failure to pay a fine. "Detention officers found Henry's body around 10am; he was last seen alive 30 minutes earlier. The state crime lab in Jackson conducted an autopsy and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is looking into the case. ...Henry's arrest came one day after 39-year-old Jonathan Sanders died after a police stop in nearby Clarke County, which MBI is also investigating." Rage. Seethe. Boil.

[CN: Police brutality; racism] In Cleveland, during the first Black Lives Matter conference, a transit police officer pepper-sprayed a crowd who were protesting the arrest of a 14-year-old black boy. Great, heaving, angry sigh.

[CN: Police brutality; racism] Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in an interview with ABC news this weekend that Sandra Bland's death "highlights the concern of many in the black community that a routine stop for many members of the black community is not handled with the same professionalism and courtesy that other people may get from the police." Which is such an excellent point, and such a diplomatic way of putting it.

[CN: Police brutality; racism] Relatedly, over the weekend, Mediate published a slam piece on black activist DeRay McKesson, accusing him of being a conspiracy-monger for asking questions about Sandra Bland's death. The thing is: Refusing to uncritically accept official narratives isn't conspiracy mongering. Asking questions and challenging the status quo is central to the pursuit of social justice. Sometimes it turns out there are indeed reasonable explanations for things that seem unreasonable at first blush. That doesn't make the asking wrong. Anyone who's mad that people don't trust official narratives need to direct their ire at all the officials who have repeatedly been untrustworthy.

[CN: War] President Obama is trying to find a way to help the grim situation in South Sudan: "Mr. Obama, accompanied by Ms. Rice, now his national security adviser, convened a meeting on Monday to try to forge a peace in South Sudan, in his most direct personal intervention since the violence broke out more than 18 months ago. During a visit here to the Ethiopian capital, he sat down with regional leaders to try to build a consensus behind a peace proposal, and to come up with a backup plan, in case that fails, involving increased sanctions and possibly an arms embargo." I don't have a lot of faith, which is not a commentary on President Obama's solid diplomatic skills, but instead a commentary on just how dire the situation is in South Sudan, and has been for a year and a half now.

[CN: Clergy abuse] Goddammit: "The Jehovah's Witnesses Church in Australia failed to report more than 1,000 alleged child sex abusers to the police, an inquiry has heard. ...One elder told the hearing that notes relating to abuse claims were destroyed so they would not be discovered." Grr.

Damn: "The U.S. auto safety watchdog, toughening its stance against manufacturer defects, announced on Sunday a record $105 million in fines against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV over lapses in safety recalls involving millions of vehicles. The Italian-U.S. automaker's consent agreement with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration contains an unprecedented buyback option covering hundreds of thousands of vehicles, including more than 1 million Jeep sport utility vehicles, whose owners can receive a trade-in or a financial incentive to get their vehicles repaired."

This is terrific: "The Strange Inside Story of the Legendarily Bad, Never-Released Fantastic Four Movie from 1994."

Key & Peele have announced this season will be the last of their Comedy Central sketch show. Good call, guys. Go out on a high note!

I love this: Trigueros del Valle, a small town in Spain with a population of around 300 people, has become the first place to recognize animals as "non-human residents" after Mayor Pedro J. PĂ©rez Espinosa "introduced the animal rights bill, called the Renedo Declaration, to the new town council, who voted unanimously to approve it. 'Dogs and cats have been living among us for over a thousand years,' Espinosa said. 'And the mayor must represent not just the human residents but must also be here for the others.'" ♥

[CN: Video autoplays at link] This is just an incredible video about the ASPCA's rehabilitation of a traumatized puppy mill dog, and her journey into her forever home.

And finally! Baby hedgehogs making adorable noises!

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Primarily Speaking

image of Hillary Clinton smiling on the verge of laughter
This is the face Hillary Clinton makes every time a Republican says, "I'm not a scientist."

Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton unveiled two bold objectives over the weekend "to combat climate change, promising that if she's elected president, she would set the United States on a path toward producing enough clean renewable energy to power every home in America within a decade. She would also initiate a process that would bring the total number of solar panels installed nationwide to more than half a billion before the end of her first term." And this is amazing: "Those people on the other side, they will answer any question about climate change by saying, 'I'm not a scientist.' Well, I'm not a scientist either. I'm just a grandmother with two eyes and a brain." BOOM!

[Content Note: Guns] Senator Bernie Sanders is making a move to address concerns among progressive voters that he's soft on gun control, using the occasions of the theater shooting in Louisiana and his latest appearance on Meet the Press to call for "making existing gun laws 'stronger' and 'more enforceable'... Sanders told moderator Chuck Todd that 'guns used to kill people exclusively, not for hunting, should not be sold in the United States of America.'" Well, yes. But also there are lots of people killed with hunting rifles, so.

Former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley played a guitar and sang "Scare Away the Dark" by Passenger (???) at a campaign event, and it made me suuuuuper uncomfortable just watching it, so I can only imagine how awkward it was to be there!

Former Republican Lincoln Chaffee is still, as far as I can tell, a person running for the Democratic nomination.

And Jim Webb is still an asshole.

On the other side of the aisle, where there are now sixteen (!!!) major candidates, things are going terrific, because all of the candidates running are terrific people, and that is sarcasm.

Because Gold Toilet Aficionado Donald Trump is threatening a third-party run, Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus has suggested that "Republican candidates for president should pledge not to run as a third-party candidate." LOL. Democracy!

[CN: Violent rhetoric; Holocaust/genocide imagery] Professor of Bible Bigotry Mike Huckabee criticized President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran by saying: "It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven." If you literally gasped reading that unfathomably insensitive garbage, you are not alone! President Obama perfectly responded by noting that Huckabee's campaign strategy seems to be saying heinous stuff in order to grab headlines: "The particular comments of Mr. Huckabee are I think part of just a general pattern we've seen...that would be considered ridiculous if it weren't so sad. Maybe this is just an effort to push Mr. Trump out of the headlines, but it's not the kind of leadership that's needed for America right now." OR EVER.

Senator Rand Paul says "he plans to push Congress to cut federal funding for the non-profit reproductive healthcare organization Planned Parenthood" because of course he does. And he refers to Planned Parenthood's treatment of aborted fetal tissue as "a gruesome procedure," which is just spectacularly cynical, since he is a physician and knows damn well how routine it is.

Senator Marco Rubio is too busy running for president to show up in the Senate and represent his constituents: "Rubio has skipped votes during high-profile fights over national security, trade, energy and education policy. He has missed private hearings during a critical stage in the Iran talks, a public forum on China and a private briefing on the U.S. strategy on the Islamic State. Last month, a California congressional candidate tweeted a picture with Rubio in Los Angeles on the same day the Florida senator missed a closed-door Foreign Relations Committee session on Iran and a procedural vote on the Export-Import Bank's future, a flash point in the presidential campaign." He sounds great!

Corporate power-failure Carly Fiorina is still talking about Hillary Clinton: "Whether or not you're ready to caucus for me or you're ready to support me, in your heart of hearts every single one of you know you would love to see me debate Hillary Clinton." GOOD GRIEF.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie showed off his world-famous diplomacy skills at a town hall in Iowa, barking at a man who questioned his record on gun rights: "Come up with one fact that shows one thing I've done as governor in New Jersey that's done anything, anything not to support the rights of legal gun owners. Don't come in front of this group of people and lie about my record, which is what you did." And: "I don't know where you're getting your information from, but your information is wrong." And: "I see you shrugging your shoulders; why are you shrugging your shoulders about? You have your point of view, but have some facts about it." And: "If you want to debate me, come to the top 10; run for president and come to Cleveland on Aug. 6, and I'll happily debate you." He seems nice.

Interesting: Dr. Ben Carson leads the Republican fundraising in Iowa.

Senator Ted Cruz waxed political about Star Trek in an interview, saying: "Kirk is working class; Picard is an aristocrat. Kirk is a passionate fighter for justice; Picard is a cerebral philosopher. ...I think it is quite likely that Kirk is a Republican and Picard is a Democrat." Which prompted William Shatner to tweet: "Star Trek wasn't political. ...[T]o put a geocentric label on interstellar characters is silly." THIS IS OUR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, PEOPLE. WILLIAM SHATNER HAS BECOME THE VOICE OF REASON.

[CN: Guns] Former Texas Governor Rick Perry says that if we allowed people to carry guns everywhere all the time forever and ever amen, then things like the Louisiana theater shooting wouldn't happen: "These concepts of gun-free zones are a bad idea. I think that you allow the citizens of this country—who have been appropriately trained, appropriately backgrounded, know how to handle and use firearms—to carry them. I believe that, with all my heart, that if you have the citizens who are well trained, and particularly in these places that are considered to be gun-free zones, that we can stop that type of activity, or stop it before there's as many people that are impacted as what we saw in Lafayette." Fuck off and shut up, Rick Perry. You are going to get more people killed.

[CN: Class warfare] And today's recipient of the WORST CLOWN IN THE CLOWN CAR AWARD is—drumroll, please!—former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, for spectacularly flubbing a town hall question from an elderly woman on his plan to phase out Medicare:
"We're not going to have adequate coverage for our children or our grandchildren without Medicare. I paid into that for years and years, just like all these other seniors here, and now you want to take it away?" said the woman, who did not identify herself and left before the town hall concluded. "Why are you always attacking the seniors?"

"Well, I'm not," Bush responded. "Here's what I said: I said, 'We're going to have to reform our entitlement system.' We have to."

"It's not an entitlement," the woman shot back. "I earned that."

"It's an actuarially unsound health care system," said Bush.
Terrific answers! Excellent diplomacy! Well done, Jeb Bush. This is why YOU are today's winner of the WORST CLOWN IN THE CLOWN CAR AWARD. Congratulations, sir!

Welp, I'm sure Senator Lindsey Graham, Governors Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, and Scott Walker, and unemployed desperados George Pataki and Rick Santorum are also up to tons of terrific stuff these days, but we can only care about so many Republican candidates at a time! Better luck next time, gentlemen!

Talk about these things! Or don't. Whatever makes you happy. Life is short.

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Get This Guy

[Content Note: Rape culture; rape jokes; privilege.]

So, there's this British comedian named Daniel O'Reilly, who's better known by his stage persona called Dapper Laughs, who was criticized for making rape jokes during one of his sets, including saying one of his female audience members was "gagging for a rape."

(He claims he was just repeating what someone in the audience said. But whatever. You're the one with the microphone, dude. Anyway.)

O'Reilly has now (sort of) apologized for it, whilst still defending himself, but here's the part that's just priceless:

Not once was I invited to learn more about sexual violence, rape, and sexism and the problem with the attitude of men.

Instead of attacking me, why not educate me? I would happily accept it and then help and educate the millions of men who watch my stuff.

There is so much wrong with those three measly sentences, I hardly know where to begin. But three quick points:

1. People pushing back on rape jokes are offering "an education." The ubiquitous framing of anger about content that upholds the rape culture as "an attack" doesn't actually make it "an attack." And, even if it were, "an attack" and "education" are not mutually exclusive. Lots of negative experiences in life can also be learning moments. Often what makes something an education is how much we're willing to learn.

2. "Not once," he says, was he "invited to learn" about sexual violence or sexism. Bullshit. I call absolute bullshit on this assertion that he has never once encountered a cultural "invitation" (via public awareness campaigns, investigative articles, news programs, etc.) to learn about sexual violence or sexism, nor has he never once been asked, or "invited," to learn some shit by a woman in his life. Bullshit.

3. The very fact that he imagines he needs an invitation is indicative of male privilege as thick as shit. Women don't have the luxury of waiting for an invitation to "learn more about sexual violence, rape, and sexism and the problem with the attitude of men." No one invited him? Jesus fucking Jones, this guy. Dude, your humanity is an invitation to the party where everyone gets to learn about how women are treated like fucking garbage by lots of men. Don't blame the rest of us because you failed to RSVP.

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NYMag Features Survivors of Cosby

[Content Note: Rape culture; sexual assault.]

image of the cover of the current issue of New York magazine, featuring 35 women sitting in chairs and one empty chair beside them, with a headline reading: 'Cosby: The Women | An Unwelcome Sisterhood'

This is the powerful cover of this week's New York Magazine, featuring 35 of Bill Cosby's accusers, and one empty chair to represent his victims who have not publicly identified themselves.

The accompanying story, for which all 35 women pictured were interviewed, is powerful stuff. A hacker has taken down NYMag's website, supposedly not because of the cover story but because [cn: violence; racism] he "hates New York," and the timing is coincidental ("I have not even seen the cover, LOL"), so the cover story is currently unavailable along with the rest of the site.

But when it comes back online, which will reportedly be later today, it will be available here.

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Open Thread

image of the skeleteon of Sue the T-Rex at the Field Museum in Chicago

Hosted by a t-rex.

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The Virtual Pub Is Open

image of a pub Photoshopped to be named 'Watts' Ale House'
[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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Prove the Point More

[Content Note: Racism; anti-immigrationism; dehumanization; eliminationist rhetoric.]

Republican presidential candidate and former Governor of Texas Rick Perry had this to say about Donald Trump's increasingly objectionable and increasingly popular campaign:

"He offers a barking carnival act that can be best described as Trumpism: a toxic mix of demagoguery, mean-spiritedness and nonsense that will lead the Republican Party to perdition if pursued," Perry charged during an address at the Willard Hotel in downtown Washington. "Let no one be mistaken: Donald Trump's candidacy is a cancer on conservatism, and it must be clearly diagnosed, excised, and discarded."

..."Donald Trump, the reality television star, is a great generator of ratings. But Donald Trump the candidate is a sower of division, wrongly demonizing Mexican-Americans for political sport," Perry said. "He has piqued the interest of some Republican voters who have legitimate concerns about a porous border and broken immigration system. But instead of offering those voters leadership or solutions, he has offered fear and sound bites. This cannot stand."
So, Rick Perry's charge is that Donald Trump is mean and divisive, and Perry makes this point by calling Trump a "cancer" that must be eliminated. Um.

Luckily no one has ever accused Rick Perry of being self-aware, or they'd be feeling pretty foolish right now!

Perry thinks that Trump has "piqued the interest" of voters "who have legitimate concerns about a porous border and broken immigration system." Except, the thing is, I have legitimate concerns about how porous our southern border is and how broken our immigration system, for reasons that have nothing to do with xenophobic fears about undocumented brown workers who will take all the jobs from white people while simultaneously being master criminals, or whatever.

My concerns are more about how we're throwing asylum-seeking children and vulnerable adults into cages guarded by people who assault them, and employers who exploit undocumented workers, and the small percentage of people who do enter the country with nefarious objectives. Which means that none of the Republican candidates have any solutions to offer to address my concerns.

The people who are interested in Trump's nakedly racist and contemptible rhetoric about immigrants is because they are interested in naked racism and contempt for marginalized people. Across a number of social issues. They are explicitly in favor of what Rick Perry is condemning, and nothing indicates that Perry is more aware of that than the fact he's using the exact same cruel and shitty language in order to scold Trump.

Trump isn't a cancer on modern mainstream conservatism. He is its most obvious inevitability.

Mean and divisive is entirely the point. The only thing Rick Perry has to be angry about is that he didn't think to be so blunt about it first.

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Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

Jason Gould & Barbra Streisand: "How Deep Is the Ocean"

This week's TMNS brought to you by Barbra Streisand duets.

(In case you didn't know, Jason Gould is Barbra Streisand's son. Here's a little video about them singing together.)

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