Question of the Day

Suggested by Shaker Heather T: "What is your opinion of snow? (Let the furore begin!)"

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Shaker Gourmet

Whatcha been cooking up in your kitchen lately, Shakers?

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

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

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This Is So Bad

I've got a new piece at Shareblue, co-written with my colleague Matthew Chapman, about Speaker Paul Ryan being unintentionally honest about repealing Obamacare:

Ryan in particular seems to understand the tightrope his party is walking on healthcare reform. Yet in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Ryan made a promise to insured Americans that was highly revealing:
[C]learly there will be a transition and a bridge so that no one is left out in the cold, so that no one is worse off. The purpose here is to bring relief to people who are suffering from Obamacare so that they can get something better.
Ryan later clarified that he only meant no one would be "worse off" during the transition, and was making no promises about the replacement plan.

It is a promise he could not possibly make, given that he is well aware that there will be fewer people with healthcare access. Those people will certainly be "worse off."

But those people are not his primary concern. A careful reading of the above reveals who is: Ryan says "the purpose here is to bring relief to people who are suffering from Obamacare."

Who is suffering from Obamacare? Not the estimated 20 million people who are covered by it and have healthcare access as a result.
Spoiler alert: It's insurance companies. Head on over to read the whole thing.

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Sophie the Torbie Cat curled up next to a shelf with board games, including Talisman and Settlers of Catan, stored on it
Tiny little cat loaf next to nerdy games.

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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Welp

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Some Morning Reading

A bunch of good stuff from Shareblue yesterday, in case you missed any of it...

Alison R. Parker: "Morning Joe hosts report exclusives on Trump while reportedly advising him."

Tommy Christopher: "Obama delivers stirring message in final national security address."

Dianna E. Anderson: "The success of Moral Mondays in North Carolina is a template for national resistance."

Tommy Christopher: "Media pollster fabricates approval for Trump's Carrier deal with shady question."

Me: "Hillary Clinton's message to girls is most retweeted political tweet of the year."

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Open Thread

image of a red couch

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

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Question of the Day

Suggested by Shaker Kathy_A: What is your earliest memory of a "current event" (something impactful outside of your immediate circle, be it local, regional, national, or international)?

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Recommended Reading

[Content Note: Bigotry] Molly Ball at The Atlantic: "President Trump's perpetual campaign."

Philip Bump at the Washington Post: "Did Donald Trump tank Boeing's stock because he was mad about a news article?"

Jonathan Easley at The Hill: "Top Dem super PAC launches anti-Trump war room."

Anthony Reed at Shareblue: "Recount update: The latest from Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania."

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An Observation

I miss writing about Hillary Clinton. I miss reading about Hillary Clinton. I miss being excited about the possibility that she would be our president.

I miss looking at photos of her excited supporters. I miss videos of the people whose lives she touched. I miss reading her policy proposals and her factsheets and transcripts of her wonky interview and debate answers to rare policy questions.

I miss talking about her with other supporters. I even miss (sometimes) arguing with people who clearly did not know the first thing about her, and having the opportunity to talk about her many accomplishments.

I miss Hillary. Basically.

And I am still grieving that she will not be my president.

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Ugh Pence

Aren't y'all SO THRILLED that you have a headstart on everyone else knowing how sinister Mike Pence is, since you've been listening to me rant about him for fully eleventy million years already? LUCKY YOU!

But also? Lucky you. Because everyone needs to get on board with the need to understand exactly who this guy is ASAP.

Anyway. I've got a new one at Shareblue about Pence's appearance on Morning Joe this morning: "In the middle of the exchange, there was a revealing moment about the power behind the gold chair. Joe Scarborough asked Pence about running the transition, and Pence agreed that he was, then carefully backtracked, saying Trump is in charge, but he is 'chairing it.' Everyone had a good laugh, including Pence, about his very political answer."

There is video with complete transcript at the link.

Shiver.

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Zelda the Black and Tan Mutt looking all sleepy on the couch, resting her chin on a red pillow
Sleepy Dog is sleepy.

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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December 6: Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

[CN: gun violence against women]

Today, December 6th, is Canada's National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. It marks the anniversary of the death of 14 women who were engineering students at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal on December 6, 1989. The gunman's suicide note blamed feminists for ruining his life, and included a list of 19 feminists he planned to kill. Although the note was explicit about his anti-feminist and misogynistic political motivations, the initial media narrative, predictably, portrayed him as a crazed loner. The 1991 designation of December 6th as a National Day of Remembrance by Parliament has helped ensure that that the true nature of this crime is remembered.

I will not name the gunman, but will focus on remembering the women who lost their lives that day:

Geneviève Bergeron

Hélène Colgan

Nathalie Croteau

Barbara Daigneault

Anne-Marie Edward

Maud Haviernick

Barbara Klucznik Widajewicz

Maryse Laganière

Maryse Leclair

Anne-Marie Lemay

Sonia Pelletier

Michèle Richard

Annie St-Arneault

Annie Turcotte

Like other women who have lost their lives to gender-based violence, each of these women had hopes and dreams, a life, and loves. A little bit about some of them from CTV:

Annie St-Arneault: A mechanical engineering student from La Tuque, Que., a Laurentian pulp and paper town in the upper St-Maurice River valley. Lived in a small apartment in Montreal. Her friends considered her a fine student. Was killed as she sat listening to a presentation in her last class before graduation. Had a job interview with Alcan Aluminium scheduled for the following day. Had talked about eventually getting married to the man who had been her boyfriend since she was a teenager.

Annie Turcotte: Was in her first year and lived with her brother in a small apartment near the university. Was described as gentle and athletic -- was a diver and a swimmer. Went into metallurgical engineering so she could one day help improve the environment.

Barbara Daigneault: Was to graduate at the end of the year. A teaching assistant for her father Pierre Daigneault, a mechanical engineering professor with the city's other French-language engineering school at the Universite du Quebec a Montreal.

Maryse Laganiere: The only non-student killed. Worked in the budget department of the engineering school. Had recently married.

Sonia Pelletier: The head of her class and the pride of St-Ulric, Que., her remote birthplace in the Gaspe peninsula. Had five sisters and two brothers. Was killed the day before she was to graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering. Had a job interview lined up for the following week.

The gunman's plans to murder 19 feminists had a profound and chilling effect. In a 2014 story, two of the women on his list of intended targets, Monique Simard and Francine Pelletier, described the aftermath:

Simard, president of Quebec’s film and culture foundation, SODEC, was a trail-blazing union leader in 1989. “My reaction was, Oh my God, these young women are the victims because he couldn’t get to us,” she says in an interview from her office in Old Montreal.

Pelletier, a prominent Quebec journalist — then and now — founded a feminist newspaper in the 1980s, La Vie en Rose. Two days after the killings, her editor at La Presse called her. “Have you see today’s paper,” asked Alain Dubuc. She hadn’t. “Brace yourself,” he told her. That day, La Presse published the names of the 19 women, which had been leaked to a police reporter. “Your name is on it,” he said.

“It broke my heart,” says Pelletier. “It didn’t change who I was. But many of his victims probably weren’t even feminists (and) I felt they died in my name.

“For me, Polytechnique sounded the death knell of the glory days of feminism. Those days were gone when he started shooting. Feminism wouldn’t be easy anymore.”

Today, december 6th has become a day to take action, in memory of the 14 women who lost their lives in 1989, as well as of other women who have lost their lives to gender-based violence. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's statement reflects this idea:

“On this somber anniversary, let us reflect on what Canadians – women, men, and youth – can do to rid the country and the planet of the scourges of misogyny and gender-based violence.

“The statistics on violence against girls and women are unacceptable. Far too many girls and women, here in Canada and around the world, suffer physical and psychological harm at the hands of others – often people they love and trust.

“On this day – and every day – we recommit ourselves to finding solutions that help prevent future acts of violence. Men and boys are a vital part of the solution to change attitudes and behaviours that allow for this violence to exist. There must be zero tolerance for violence against women, and only with everyone’s support can we build a Canada that is safe for all.

“As we mourn today with the families and friends of those bright and talented young women who were victims of that senseless act of hatred, I encourage everyone to think about how their own personal actions matter. Start by joining the conversation online using the hashtag #ActionsMatter. Together we can change minds and stop gender-based violence before it starts.”

In Canada today, there will be marches and vigils across the country. But wherever we live, today is a good day to take whatever concrete actions we are able to end gender-based violence, whether that is donating to an organization dedicated to addressing gendered violence, finding time to volunteer with a local organization dedicated to addressing the needs of those targeted by gender based violence, educating oneself about bills in state/provincial/national legislatures with implications for gendered violence, or otherwise finding a way to contribute to the fight, as our individual resources and abilities allow us to.

If you're at a loss to get started, here are a few ideas for ways to help fight vioence against Indigenous women. You might also like to check out Feministing's list of groups working to address violence against trans folk. Or, you might look at UN Women's webpage and learn about the many global initiatives they are supporting which help women and girls. Those are just a few ideas. I invite you to share your own resources in comments. As always, please respect that different people give support in different ways.

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Oh My Heart

Last night, Vice-President Joe Biden presided over the Senate during a procedural vote on the 21st Century Cures Act, which includes funding for his Cancer Moonshot. During the session, the section of the legislation that provides the funding was named after his son Beau Biden, who died of brain cancer in May 2015.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged Biden's loss, and his determination to fight the disease to which he lost his son: "He's known the cruel toll this disease can take. But he hasn't let it defeat him. He's chosen to fight back. He's taken a leading role. And the Senate will soon pass the 21st Century Cures Act as a testament to his tremendous effort."

He continued: "I think it's fitting to dedicate this bill's critical cancer initiative in honor of someone who'd be proud of the presiding officer today, and that's his son, Beau."

The vote was taken. McConnell asked that the resolution be agreed to. Biden responded solemnly: "Without objection."

It was a moving moment — a reminder of the shared humanity with which the Senate should be preoccupied, every day.
In times like this, I wonder why it is that, when we're capable of things like this, we so often choose to do something else.

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Open Thread

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

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Question of the Day

Suggested by Shaker Mira: "What's your #1 most favoritest, bestest cleaning or organization trick?"

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This Must Stop

[Content Note: White supremacy.]

Here is a thing that Dianna E. Anderson, Alison R. Parker, and I all worked on together, and it's a really important piece to me, and I hope you will read and share it: "Nazis were 'stylish,' too: The dangerous hipsterization of white supremacy."

One of the methods by which authoritarian power asserts itself is through appearance — a clean-cut young gentleman in handsome attire is less likely to be a red flag, as humans often expect people who hold extreme views to look extreme.

The Nazis had a very specific style guide aimed at normalizing their appearance and reducing any sense of fear around members of the Nazi guard. Fashionable, well-designed clothing was specifically chosen to reassure the citizenry: The Nazis looked like the guy next door, not like a degenerate or a monster. Their outer appearance belied their inner depravity, which allowed the latter to metastasize that much more easily.

...There is a demonstrable history of oppressive movements using fashion-forwardness as a means by which to insinuate themselves, and media replicate this history at our collective peril.
There is much, much more at the link.

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Recommended Reading

Here is some good stuff to read!

Yessenia Funes at Colorlines: "Water Protectors Celebrate Army's Halt of Pipeline, Brace for Trump Pushback."

Sean Mandell at Towleroad: "HB 2 Stalwart Pat McCrory Finally Concedes Defeat in NC Governor's Race."

Jessica Mason Pieklo at Rewire: "Pro-Choice Legal Offensive Launched in Three States."

Melissa Brown at Daily Progressive: "Ready to Ditch White Feminism? Here Are 6 Black Feminist Concepts You Need to Know."

[Content Note: Racism; colorism] Parth Shah at NPR: "For Tattoo Artists, Race Is in the Mix When Ink Meets Skin."

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Trump Picks Carson for HUD

Because of course he does. I've got a few thoughts on that at Shareblue: "Unfit president-elect Trump chooses unfit nominee Carson to lead HUD.

Now, after dithering about it, Carson has accepted the nomination to HUD, despite his lack of qualifications. He will "oversee an agency with a $47 billion budget, bringing to the job a philosophical opposition to government programs that encourage what he calls 'dependency' and engage in 'social engineering.' He has no expertise in housing policy."

Carson's only cited qualification, such as it is, is having grown up in an inner city: "In a recent television interview, Mr. Carson said that he was prepared to lead the agency because he grew up 'in the inner city' and because as a physician in Baltimore he has 'dealt with a lot of patients from that area.'"

...But no expertise is required by Trump — who, after all, has no qualifications himself. He has never served a day in public office in preparation for the presidency, and has so little knowledge of the job that he was surprised he has to staff the White House.

What is telling about this selection is that it is clearly Trump's pick — unlike much of the Cabinet, which otherwise has Mike Pence's fingerprints all over it. That Pence, and whichever other Trump advisors are wielding influence, evidently stepped back and "gave" this one to Trump suggests what a low priority HUD is to the powerbrokers in the incoming administration.
There is, as always, more at the link, including a strong statement of objection from Nancy Pelosi. GOOD.

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Daily Dose of Cute

image of Dudley the Greyhound asleep on his back on the couch, with his legs the air and his tongue hanging out
Post-breakfast nap.

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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