Question of the Day

Suggested by Shaker Alison Rose: "What book did you read as a child or young teen that you want to reread as an adult to see if you have a different understanding of or reaction to it?"

Open Wide...

Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime



New Edition: "Cool It Now"

Open Wide...

I Mean.

[Content Note: Bigotry.]

ABC News: "Conservative Writer George Will Drops out of GOP Over Trump." Oh.

"This is not my party," he says.

Except: It is his party. It's the party that gets built when you spend decades exploiting fear and bigotry.

I just don't understand who these jokers think they're fooling by pretending that Donald Trump and his supporters aren't "their party." Fuck yes they are your party. Just because Trump prefers a bullhorn to a dogwhistle doesn't make him not part of your party.


This is the truth with which Republicans (or ex-Republicans) like Will refuse to reckon: I don't actually give a flying flunderton whether your nominee puts your ghastly policies in nicer words. The effect of the policy is still the same.

Open Wide...

Daily Dose of Cute

image of Zelly the Black and Tan Mutt, looking at me with big, brown, plaintive eyes
THIS!!! FACE!!! ♥

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

Open Wide...

In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

Welp: "The European Union will not hold informal talks with the UK until it triggers Article 50 to leave, Germany, France, and Italy have insisted." As always, the Guardian has terrific live coverage of all the news regarding the Brexit fallout here.

If there's anyone you want to read on today's Supreme Court abortion decision, it's Jessica Mason Pieklo!

"Thousands of people, many waving paper fans to fend off the humidity and heat, gathered at CocolĂ­ locks outside Panama City on Sunday to watch a colossal container ship bearing 9,472 containers become the first vessel to officially pass through the newly expanded Panama canal and, hopefully, usher in a new era of trading prosperity for the Central American country."

[CN: White supremacy; violence] Goddammit: "An alleged Nazi rally in downtown Sacramento turned violent Sunday, forcing riot gear-clad police to break up fights between the white supremacists and counter-protesters. According to ABC10, police were forced to use batons and pepper spray as they chased down suspects after wading into the crowd. ...According to the LA Times, multiple stabbings were reported with several victims rushed to the hospital with what were described as critical injuries."

[CN: Domestic violence; death; guns] Everything about this story is gutting me: "A mother fatally shot her two daughters on a public street near Houston, Texas, on Friday afternoon, before she too was shot dead by police. ...On her Facebook profile, Christy Sheats routinely praised her daughters. 'Happy Daughter's Day to my two amazing, sweet, kind, beautiful, intelligent girls,' she wrote in September last year. 'I love and treasure you both more than you could ever possibly know.' She also posted messages in support of the Second Amendment. 'It would be horribly tragic if my ability to protect myself or my family were to be taken away,' she wrote in March, 'but that's exactly what Democrats are determined to do by banning semi-automatic handguns.'"

"Bernie Sanders' national press secretary, one of the most prominent women of color and young people in presidential politics, said Sunday that she has left the campaign. Symone D. Sanders revealed the decision to Fusion before appearing on a panel of women in politics at Politicon, a convention in Los Angeles. She said that she was not let go and that leaving the campaign was her decision. On the panel, she identified herself as the former press secretary 'as of today.'" At this point, Sanders' fundraising may have dwindled to the point where he can't fund payroll, which will oblige high-level staffers to start leaving, irrespective of their feelings about the direction of the campaign.

Whooooooooops! "A slot at the Republican National Convention used to be a career-maker—a chance to make your name on the big stage and to catch the eye of the Republican donors and activists who make or break campaigns. In the year of Trump: Not so much. With the convention less than a month away, POLITICO contacted more than 50 prominent governors, senators, and House members to gauge their interest in speaking. Only a few said they were open to it, and everyone else said they weren't planning on it, didn't want to, or weren't going to Cleveland at all—or simply didn't respond."

[CN: White supremacy; racist violence] "Jesse Williams was honored Sunday night at the 2016 BET Awards with the Humanitarian Award. The actor/activist, best known for his role on Grey's Anatomy, has been a visible part of the Black Lives Matter movement since the 2014 events in Ferguson, Mo." He gave an incredible speech, the full text of which is at the link.

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] "NASA's Juno probe is only one week away from its arrival at Jupiter, where it will execute a daring maneuver in order to get closer to the giant planet than any other spacecraft in history. Getting up-close and personal with Jupiter is a serious challenge for space probes, because the Jovian giant is surrounded by a belt of very intense radiation that can quickly fry most spacecraft electronics. So rather than orbiting the planet, Juno will make a series of 37 loops between Jupiter and the radiation ring. On July 4, Juno's engines will burn for about 35 minutes to slow down the probe so it can enter into its loopy orbit in the Jupiter system. But if the maneuver doesn't go as planned, Juno could fly right past Jupiter, putting an end to the $1.1 billion mission." GOOD LUCK, JUNO!

And finally! "British photographer Christopher Swann captures stunning shots of cetaceans like whales and dolphins both above and beneath the surface of the ocean. With over 25 years of experience diving and running whale- and dolphin-watching holidays around the world, the photographer has become finely attuned to the behaviors of these majestic creatures, enabling him to venture close to them for intimate and eye-opening portraits." Amazing.

Open Wide...

On the Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt Ruling

[Content Note: War on agency.]

I've got a new essay up at BNR on the SCOTUS ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, and how the ruling is about so much more than just abortion access:

The Supreme Court, with one day remaining in this term, handed down a long and nervously awaited decision on Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt. The decision is a huge win for women (and other people who need access to abortion, like trans men) across the nation.

...The decision was an incredibly important win for choice — and a powerful commentary on how the nation values women. Our health, our safety, our autonomy, and our lives.

I was born the year after Roe v. Wade was decided, and from the time I was old enough to comprehend even the most cursory facts of abortion law, I understood, even before I could articulate it, that whether my government allowed me control over my own body and the agency to make decisions about my own reproduction communicated how much I was respected and valued as a full human being.

My very first public act of political resistance was leading a walkout in my 8th grade confirmation class in protest of a minister who wanted to show us a graphic anti-abortion film. I was officially labeled a troublemaker, and the minister told me I would be pregnant or dead by the time I was 16. I was neither.

I have always understood intimately that abortion law is not, and has never been, just about access to abortion, but also about how we value women.
There is much, much more at the link (including my familiar argument about how we oblige pregnant people to sustain life in the way we oblige no other people), so head on over to read the whole thing!

Open Wide...

YESSSSSSS!!!

Today, Senator Elizabeth Warren joined Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail for the first time, and it was precisely as amazing as you'd expect!


I don't yet have a transcript, but I will update the post as soon as one becomes available. (If you happen to see one first, please link it in comments!)

WATCH OUT, DONALD. THE WOMEN ARE COMING FOR YOU.

UPDATE: Shaker hedonist generously did a transcript for us, with the note: "I am not a professional transcriptionist. The names of non-famous people I hope I got right because I don't know where I'd look them up. I went over it once to make sure I got names right." The transcript is posted below the fold, with my profound thanks to hedonist!

Open Wide...

No Thanks, Concern Trolls

[CN: Misogyny.]

I've got a new piece at BNR about the media continually offering advice to Hillary Clinton as though she's losing, despite the fact that is winning by a huge margin:

Whether it's giving Hillary advice about how she has to appeal to Donald's reactionary rightwing base (large parts of which support him specifically because they want to erect and maintain the barriers she wants to break down), or about how she has to appeal to the segment of Bernie's base who are holding out from supporting her (for many of whom "opposition to Clinton is the basis of their political identity"), pundits are full of helpful, ahem, advice for Hillary.

New York Times reporter Patrick Healy managed to combine a bunch of this hot advice into one hideous piece, but he is hardly alone. Despite Hillary leading Donald by double digits in many national polls following an outstanding general election rollout, one would be forgiven for imagining she is desperately flailing, if one listens to the pundits.

...That Hillary continues to ignore pundits who tell her she needs to be doing something – anything – differently when she's commandingly winning is further evidence of her strength and wisdom.

The only advice she needs from pundits right now is: Keep doing whatever you're doing, because it's clearly working.
Click on through to read the whole thing!

And I highly recommend Peter Daou's piece on Patrick Healy's appalling NYT article, too: "You read that correctly: Healy is actually adding vote totals for the Republican nominee and Democratic runner-up to claim that Hillary's message isn't resonating. The female candidate has to defeat two men simultaneously for her campaign to be deemed successful."

Open Wide...

Hillary Clinton Statement on Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt

Today, following the Supreme Court's decision in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, which struck down some of the country's most restrictive anti-abortion measures, Hillary Clinton issued the following statement:

"The Supreme Court's decision in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt is a victory for women across America. By striking down politically motivated restrictions that made it nearly impossible for Texans to exercise their full reproductive rights, the Court upheld every woman's right to safe, legal abortion, no matter where she lives.


"I applaud everyone who flooded the Texas Capitol to speak out against these attacks on women's health, the brave women and men across the country who shared their stories, and the health care providers who fought for their patients and refused to give up.


"Our fight is far from over. In Texas and across the country, a woman's constitutional right to make her own health decisions is under attack. In the first three months of 2016, states introduced more than 400 measures restricting access to abortion. We've seen a concerted, persistent attack on women's health and rights at the federal level. Meanwhile, Donald Trump has said women should be punished for having abortions. He also pledged to defund Planned Parenthood and appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade.


"Today's decision is a reminder of how much is at stake in this election. We need a President who will defend women's health and rights and appoint Supreme Court justices who recognize Roe v. Wade as settled law. We must continue to protect access to safe and legal abortion – not just on paper, but in reality."

Open Wide...

Big SCOTUS Decisions Today

[Content Note: War on agency; guns; domestic violence.]

Some big decisions expected from the Supreme Court today:

The Supreme Court only has one scheduled day left this term, and that means the justices are expected to hand down opinions in the remaining cases on Monday.

Those include cases on abortion, government corruption, and a ban on gun ownership by individuals convicted of domestic violence offenses.

...In what could be the most important abortion case in 25 years, clinics and doctors have challenged a Texas law in an attempt to reverse course on new regulations.

In 2013, Texas passed HB2, which contains the two provisions at issue in this case: 1) a requirement that abortion providers have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital; and 2) a requirement that abortion facilities comply with the requirements for ambulatory surgical centers.

The plaintiffs in the case, Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, argued that there's no evidence that the law promotes women's health, and that it is really about impeding women's access to abortion. If the law goes fully into effect, the challengers contend, the number of clinics in Texas will drop to 10 or fewer.

...[A] 4-4 split would apply to all three states in the Fifth Circuit –- Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

There is also a slight possibility that the Supreme Court could send the case back to the trial court for the introduction of more evidence.

...[The gun ownership] case, Voisine v. United States, is noteworthy because Justice Clarence Thomas in March used it to ask his first questions during oral arguments in a decade.

One of the petitioners in the case, Stephen Voisine, claimed that his state domestic violence conviction shouldn't have prevented him from owning a gun under federal law. Voisine's case was consolidated with another similar case, brought by William Armstrong, both from Maine.

Although they are very likely to lose, Thomas used the oral argument as an opportunity to ask a total of 11 questions, all suggesting that the statute that barred the petitioners from gun ownership raised serious Second Amendment concerns.

"This is a misdemeanor violation. It suspends a constitutional right. Can you give me another area where a misdemeanor violation suspends a constitutional right?" said Thomas during arguments
Consider this an open thread for info-sharing as discussion as the decisions come down today.

Open Wide...

Bernie, What Are You Even Doing? Today's Edition.

[Content Note: Marginalization of oppressed people.]

Yesterday, Bernie Sanders appeared on CNN's State of the Union with Jake Tapper, and it went exactly as you'd expect, given where we are in this campaign and the posture Sanders continues to take. The expression on Tapper's face while Sanders was yammering away pretty much sums it up.

image of CNN's Jake Tapper making a long-suffering expression in split-screen with Bernie Sanders yammering away

The entire transcript of the segment is available here, and I'm just going to share this exchange on Sanders' continued resistance to endorsing Hillary Clinton (emphasis mine):
TAPPER: Senator, you have said you want to do everything in your power to ensure that Donald Trump does not become president. According to a new Bloomberg poll, barely half of your supporters, 55 percent, plan to vote for Hillary Clinton; 22 percent say they will vote for Donald Trump. Another 18 percent favor libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. Do you think Hillary Clinton can win if almost half of your supporters do not plan on voting for her?

SANDERS: You know, we got a long, long way to go to Election Day. And the world changes, as you know, every week. When I think is that, if Hillary Clinton—and this is what we are trying to do right now—we are trying to say to Secretary Clinton and to the Clinton campaign, make it clear which side you are on. For example, one of the areas that I think resonated very strongly across this country is the understanding that, today in 2016, we need to make public education include free tuition at public colleges and universities.

Truth is, Secretary Clinton has some good ideas about higher education. Doesn't go far enough. In terms of health care, it's not good enough to say that 90 percent of our people have health insurance now, because many of those insurance policies are really quite inadequate. We need to be much more aggressive. The Affordable Care Act has done good things. We need to go further than that. So I think, right now, what we are doing is trying to say to the Clinton campaign, stand up, be bolder than you have been. And then many of those voters in fact may come on board.
At this point, Tapper plays video of Sanders telling Chris Cuomo that he will vote for Clinton "in all likelihood." Tapper says that Sanders could be leaving his supporters with the impression that he's going to mount a third-party run, and tells him, "I mean, there's a hesitation there." To which Sanders responds by accusing the media of treating politics as a game.
TAPPER: With all due respect, Senator, I'm not viewing this as a game. I'm looking at the fact that I talk to your supporters all the time, and many of them do not want to vote for Hillary Clinton. They feel very negatively towards her. And if it is important to you, as you say it is, to defeat Donald Trump, I wonder if you're truly doing everything you can do to defeat Donald Trump.

SANDERS: I am going to do everything that I can to do to defeat Donald Trump. But a lot of that responsibility about winning the American people over to her side is going to rest with Secretary Clinton. Is she going to address the issues that many—we got something like 12 million, 13 million votes.

And those people voted for me, I believe, because they said it is time to have a president prepared to have the guts to stand up to big money interests, to stand up to the greed of corporate America, to end these disastrous trade policies, to make certain that the wealthiest people, largest corporations start paying their fair share of taxes, to rebuild our infrastructure, to create health care for all people.

So, it's not just Bernie Sanders saying, oh, yes, just vote for Hillary Clinton. It is Hillary Clinton standing up and saying, you know what? These are the things we need to do. And if she does the right thing, I am absolutely confident that the vast majority of my supporters will vote for her.

And that is the process we are engaged in right now. We're working on the Democratic platform. We are talking to the Clinton campaign. And I hope very much that Secretary Clinton understands that not only is it good public policy, it is the right thing to do, it is good politics to begin to move in that direction.
This is, simply, not how it works.

I am incandescently angry that Sanders is, at this point in the election, going on national television to say that Hillary Clinton need to "make it clear which side [she is] on," and suggesting that she can only earn his supporters' votes by a wholesale adoption of his platform, which would necessarily mean abandoning some of the things for which she drew support.

Like, for instance, her position on fracking, which, as eloquently detailed by longtime environmental activist Tom Hayden, is more nuanced and sophisticated than simply "ban all fracking." Hayden, for example, supports her because her position is both more realistic and more comprehensively planned; it "goes beyond what virtually any state has done." And, crucially, it takes into consideration the economic consequences of a unilateral ban on fracking.

Sanders consistently purports to care most about working people, but his unilateral plans to destroy industries he has determined are harmful—whether it's fracking, Big Pharma, or Wall Street—do not provide any detail on what will become of the working people who are employed by these industries. The big banks aren't staffed exclusively by executives getting outsized paychecks. They employ hundreds of thousands of people across the nation.

Clinton, meanwhile, continually gets attacked by Sanders and his supporters for carrying the water of special interests when her plans are not unilateral specifically because she centers the working people who would be both directly and indirectly affected by the sudden immolation of an entire industry, without regard for the reverberating consequences.

In my view—and in the view of millions of other people—that makes her positions more progressive, not less so.

The Democratic platform draft is more progressive than it has ever been—and, to be frank, it is more progressive than Sanders' own platform, explicitly because it does not treat wealth inequality as the only issue that matters to marginalized people. Centering reproductive rights, mass incarceration, immigration, LGBTx rights, and all manner of policy that directly affects marginalized people—and issues all that would be not be rectified by "going after Wall Street"—is, by many measures other than Sanders' highly personal and subjective definition of progressivism, the most progressive option.

Clinton's supporters aren't keen to see that abandoned to embrace Sanders' list of demands, when many of those demands conflict with the approach we voted for Clinton because she advocated.

She won, commandingly, because of her approach. And the reality is that she is now the only candidate who stands between Donald Trump and the US presidency.

Sure, keep advocating for her to be even more progressive. I plan to do that, too! It doesn't stop me from giving her my support. And it sure doesn't inspire me to pretend that she's not progressive at all; that she's somehow on a "different side" than I am.

Bernie Sanders continues to assert that he's just engaging in "good politics," but he's not. He's engaging in blackmail and throwing a fucking tantrum.

This is not how politics works. You don't get everything you want, not even (and especially) when you're president. And you certainly don't when you're the loser, even if you want to imagine otherwise by refusing to concede.

Open Wide...

Open Thread

image of a bowl of Japanese broth
Hosted by dashi.

Open Wide...

The Virtual Pub Is Open

image of a pub Photoshopped to be named 'The Shakesville Arms'
[Explanations: lol your fat. pathetic anger bread. hey your gay.]

TFIF, Shakers!

Belly up to the bar,
and name your poison!

Open Wide...

Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime



Judy Garland: "Happiness Is a Thing Called Joe"

Open Wide...

The Friday Blogaround

This blogaround brought to you by swirls.

Recommended Reading:

Maya: [Content Note: Racism; xenophobia] "I've Never Felt Less Welcome in This Country."

Pam: [CN: White straight cis privilege; war on agency] Pondering What Happened in the Room Where It Happens

Kenrya: [CN: Police brutality; misogynoir; image of violence at link] No Indictment for Texas Cop Who Slammed Teen in Bikini

Seraphina: [CN: Abuse; stigma; shame] How Abusers Rely on Shame to Keep Victims Down

Katie: [CN: Sexual harassment] Hundreds of Professors Sign Letter Condemning Yale Philosopher

Jim: [CN: Explorations of gender bias] If We Wrote Men Like We Write Women: Part One and Part Two

Angry Asian Man: Meet the Asian Characters in Star Wars: Rogue One

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

Open Wide...

Daily Dose of Cute

image of Dudley the Greyhound lying on the couch with his tongue hanging out, looking utterly ridiculous
The essence of Dudley.

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.

Open Wide...

In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

"Scotland's first minister has said a second independence referendum is 'highly likely' after the UK voted to leave the EU. Nicola Sturgeon said it was "democratically unacceptable" that Scotland faced the prospect of being taken out of the EU against its will. She said the Scottish government would begin preparing legislation to enable another independence vote. Scotland voted in favour of the UK staying in the EU by 62% to 38%."

Disqualifying fuckery: "Donald Trump said Friday that the collapse of the British pound is good news for his Scottish golf course, which he was visiting. 'When the pound goes down, more people are coming to Turnberry, frankly,' he said during a press conference at the course. 'For traveling and for other things, I think it very well could turn out to be a positive.'" This is part of a pattern: Recall Trump saying he was "excited" about the housing market crash in 2007, because he'd make big money off of it.

JFC: "That confusion over what Brexit might mean for the country's economy appears to have been reflected across the United Kingdom on Thursday. Google reported sharp upticks in searches not only related to the ballot measure but also about basic questions concerning the implications of the vote. At about 1 a.m. Eastern time, about eight hours after the polls closed, Google reported that searches for 'what happens if we leave the EU' had more than tripled." That, right there, is the power of fearmongering, xenophobia, and nationalism. People voted for something they didn't even truly understand, and which will have devastating consequences.

[Content Note: Flooding; death] "Some of the worst flooding in West Virginia 'in 100 years' has left at least six people dead, including one child. Tens of thousands of residents were left without power and many roads were impassable following Thursday's pounding rain, officials said. The hardest hit counties include Greenbrier, Nicholas, Fayette, Kanawha and Webster. In Greenbrier, a flaming house could be seen floating down a creek. 'Just high water everywhere. People can't get out; they can't get in,' one resident told CBS News." Damn.

[CN: Racism; gun violence; death] "As almost 170 members of Congress held the House floor on Wednesday and through the night into Thursday, Lucy McBath stood beside them. McBath's son, Jordan Davis, was shot and killed for playing loud music in his car at a Jacksonville, Florida gas station in 2012. In the years since, she has become an advocate for gun reform and this week, she stood outside the Capitol during the entirety of the sit-in, speaking, singing, chanting, and joining other gun safety advocates in supporting the lawmakers inside the chamber. ...The 'No Bill No Break' sit-in was not successful in demanding that the House hold debate before leaving for its July 4th break—Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) dismissed the chamber until after the holiday. And while the Senate's 15-hour filibuster led to a vote on four gun-related measures, all four failed. But McBath said the overwhelming support both inside and outside the Capitol this week was a success in and of itself." Blub.

"The White House has announced the designation of the Stonewall National Monument, where the Stonewall riots took place. Said President Obama in a video making the announcement: 'I'm designating the Stonewall National Monument as the newest addition to America's national parks system. Stonewall will be our first national monument to tell the story of the struggle for LGBT rights. I believe our national parks should reflect the full story of our country–the richness and diversity and uniquely American spirit that has always defined us. That we are stronger together. That out of many, we are one.'"

[CN: War on agency] "Data Shows Surge in Texans Traveling out of State to Get an Abortion: A Rewire analysis has found that while Texas data shows there has been a decline in the number of abortions in the state, data from other neighboring states suggests there has been a dramatic increase in the number of Texans traveling out of state to access abortion care since the passage of HB 2 in 2013." Unconscionable, the people who continually pretend that criminalizing and/or reducing access to abortion will reduce abortions, as opposed to just making pregnant people seek alternatives to safe, accessible abortion.

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] "Seven months ago, Lisa Alamia woke up with a British accent after having jaw surgery. Since then, her neurologist, Toby Yaltho, has diagnosed her with Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS). ... "Lisa is speaking with reporters from around the world now and hopes her story can help science. 'We thought maybe a local newspaper...we never thought it would turn into national, international news,' she said. 'My thing is just advancing medicine, that this is just something that happened, it's not something that's fake and if other people have experienced it, come out, get help, go to a doctor.'" Fascinating. And what a cool lady that she's sharing her story and offering to help researchers find out more about this confounding syndrome.

[CN: Image of scar; cancer; bullying] "After eight-year-old Gabriel Marshall underwent surgery to remove a tumor in his brain, the large scar left in its place 'made him feel like a monster,' Gabriel's dad, Josh, tells PEOPLE. 'He was very embarrassed about the scar–he wouldn't even leave the house without something covering his head.' ...Josh wanted to make his son feel better about the procedure, especially once Gabriel's tumor–an anaplastic astrocytoma that had metastasized to his spine–was showing no signs of regrowth. So Josh decided to get a tattoo to match Gabriel's scar. 'I asked him if it would be okay if I went and got his scar tattooed on my head if that would make him feel better, and he agreed that yes it would,' Josh says. '[I wanted] to take away some of the stares or attention from him. He was very excited when I came home and showed him that I'd gotten it done. He said, 'Wow that looks so realistic.'' With his dad by his side, Gabriel learned to appreciate his scar. 'He's now very proud of his scar because he knows that that it means that he was tougher than [the tumor] that tried to hurt him,' Josh says. 'He calls it his battle scar.'" ♥

And finally! Baby giraffe! "Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens proudly announced the birth of a male Reticulated Giraffe calf. ...Veterinary staff examined the calf early, the morning after the birth, and determined that it was a healthy boy. He measured 6'4" tall and weighed-in at 187 pounds, and he is the tallest giraffe calf ever born at the Zoo! After trial introductions to his habitat the weekend after his birth, the calf and mother are now on exhibit with the rest of their herd."

Open Wide...

Hard Pass

[Content Note: Hostility to consent; bullying.]

I've never liked a Republican presidential candidate in my lifetime. Especially not since I've been old enough to vote.

My first election was '92, the year I turned 18. The Republican candidate was then-President George H.W. Bush. I didn't like him at all. In '96, it was Bob Dole. I liked him even less. Then it was George W. Bush, twice in a row, followed by John McCain, for whom my distaste is legendary in these parts, and then Mitt Romney, and don't even get me started on that guy.

Since 1992, the Republican Party has moved even more rightward, and I've moved even more leftward, so it's not surprising that I dislike every Republican candidate more than the one before him.

But, as I've written previously, whether I like a presidential candidate isn't nearly as important to me as whether I feel as though I can trust them.

What I've always meant by that is: Trust them to run the country.

I've never thought that I couldn't trust any of the Republican presidents to be relatively decent human beings to me one-on-one, for some limited amount of time, as long as we talked about the weather or some similarly anodyne subject.

Until now, of course.

Not only would I not want to have a drink with Donald Trump; I wouldn't want to be in the same room with him for any amount of time for any reason. I wouldn't want to talk to him on the phone. I wouldn't want to exchange one glance or word with the man.

Because I don't want to be around any person who has such aggressive hostility to consent; such profound contempt for women; such a deep, nasty, bullying streak.

In this way, if not others, Trump represents a fundamental break with the previous nominees of his party, as well as other people who could have been the nominee.

I don't want to be, could not tolerate being, anywhere near the guy.

And all the reasons that I don't are the very same reasons for which his supporters cast their votes for him. They affirmed the precise behaviors and attitudes that make him utterly repellent to me.

Which is pretty chilling.

Open Wide...

Elections Matter

[Content Note: Anti-immigrationism; white supremacy.]

I've got two new pieces up at BNR, both broadly on the subject of why elections are so important.

First: A piece about the SCOTUS non-decision on immigration yesterday, which was the result of a tie caused by the Supreme Court vacancy, which itself persists because of Republican obstructionism on Merrick Garland's nomination to the Court:

As noted by SCOTUSblog: This case will be appealed, which means that the President's immigration policy "will be revived if Clinton wins and a democratic nominee provides a 5th vote."

Naturally, we know what will happen if Donald Trump is elected and instead nominates to the Supreme Court whatever nightmare of jurisprudence he unearths from the bowels of Liberty University Law School.

This is a case with potentially life-or-death consequences for scores of undocumented immigrants. It is a case, as the President observed, about the kind of country we want to be.

Donald Trump wants to build a wall. House Republicans merely want to erect "high fencing." In any case, the Republican position on immigration is to build barriers, while the Democratic position — as repeatedly stated by Hillary — is to tear them down.
There's much more at the link, including video of the President's statement on the SCOTUS tie, so head on over.

Second: A piece about Hillary Clinton's and Donald Trump's respective responses to Brexit:
Donald is once again reveling in volatility, as the Brexit vote causes turmoil in the UK and in the global markets. Prime Minister David Cameron has resigned, Scotland's second independence referendum will almost certainly be accelerated, and the global economy has been thrown into crisis — and he's thrilled about all of it, calling Brexit a "great thing."

...Meanwhile, Hillary has released a statement expressing concern for working people and the effect this sort of volatility and turmoil may have on their lives.

"This time of uncertainty only underscores the need for calm, steady, experienced leadership in the White House."

Truer words never spoken.

We do not need a leader who feasts on volatility with zero regard for the resulting instability and the tumult it wreaks in the lives of the most vulnerable people.

To the absolute contrary, we need a leader who sees the havoc that wildly fluctuating markets, leadership voids, empowerment of white nationalism, and the potential crumbling of a major global alliance will cause on average people if calm is not restored.
As always, there's more at the link.

Open Wide...

Bernie Sanders Says He's Likely to Vote for Hillary Clinton, But Still Won't Endorse Her

CNN's Chris Cuomo: No endorsement of Hillary Clinton. Simply stated: When the day comes in November, and Sanders has to cast his vote, to whom does it go?

Bernie Sanders: In all likelihood, it'll go to Hillary Clinton.

Cuomo: When you say "in all likelihood," what percentage of margin of error—

Sanders: I don't want to parse words here. Here's where we are right now, Chris.

Cuomo: Please.

Sanders: Uh, I want, I believe this country faces enormous crises; I believe our politics and our economics are dominated by big money interests; I believe the Democratic Party has got to become the party of working people, prepared to stand up and take on those special interests. We are working right now, as we speak, with A: the Clinton campaign, trying to see what kind of agreements we can work out; and B: as we speak in St. Louis tonight, there is going to be a big debate about platform, and we're going to try to make that platform as progressive as we can. Then we're going to Orlando, where the whole committee meets; we're going to offer a whole lot of amendments to make it progressive. So my job right now, as a candidate, is to fight to make sure that the Democratic Party not only has the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party, but that that platform is actually implemented by elected officials.
Actually, Bernie Sanders, your job right now, as a defeated candidate, is to help your party win. And you are patently not doing that by continuing to act as a concern troll for the Democratic Party, especially when the Democratic Party platform is already the most progressive it's ever been, and you're out there doing interviews suggesting otherwise.

The effect of continuing to demonize Hillary Clinton and trash the Democratic Party is that 22% of Sanders supporters (according to the latest Bloomberg National Poll) say they will vote for Donald Trump. But Sanders just pretends this reality doesn't exist.

Cuomo: Trump says that your supporters should be looking at him more than anybody else, because he's the closest in offering to what you did as anybody in the field.

Sanders: Well, I think he—when he says that, he does not understand the people who have supported me. The people who have supported me are not gonna vote for a bigot; somebody who has as the cornerstone of his campaign, uh, insulting Mexicans, Latinos, and Muslims, and women, and veterans, and African Americans. That is not the candidate I believe the people who voted me will support. I'm gonna do everything I can to defeat Trump.
Except, you know, endorse Hillary Clinton. That, says Sanders, is still contingent on whether Clinton is willing to talk to him about free college, and whether the Democratic Party will bend to his will.

Seriously, on a day when Donald Trump is in Scotland, criticizing the President of the United States on foreign soil and revving up white nationalist hatred, Bernie Sanders sitting on CNN and lecturing the Democratic Party, its President, and its nominee that they're not sufficiently progressive by his own personal measure is just about as self-centered and unhelpful (which is the politest way I can possibly put it) as it fucking gets.

I don't know what I find more astounding: His ego or his indifference to the people whose lives and safety hang in the balance.

UPDATE: I've got more on this at BNR.

Open Wide...

Back |