[Explanations: lol your fat. pathetic anger bread. hey your gay.]
Belly up to the bar,
and name your poison!
President Obama lets the Republicans have it over their absurd refusal to confirm Loretta Lynch as the next Attorney General:
President Obama on Friday vented his frustration over the delay in confirming his attorney general pick Loretta Lynch, calling the Senate's handling of her nomination "embarrassing."Emphasis mine. And what is the cause of the delay? Senate Republicans are holding up the vote on her nomination until the passage of "an unrelated human-trafficking bill that is stalled in the Senate," to which Senate Democrats object because of anti-abortion language inserted into the measure.
In his strongest comments to date on the delay, Obama chided the Senate for engaging in "political gamesmanship" by not bringing Lynch's nomination up for a vote.
"It's gone too far," Obama said during a press conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. "Enough. Enough. Call Loretta Lynch for a vote."
Lynch, a veteran federal prosecutor, is poised to become the first black female attorney general in U.S. history. But she has waited 160 days to be confirmed, longer than the previous seven attorney general nominees combined.
[Content Note: Transphobia.]
"Administratively I shouldn't exist. But I do exist, so that's still the problem."—US Army Sgt. Shane Ortega, the first openly transgender active military soldier, on whose behalf, along with other trans* servicemembers, the ACLU has filed a petition regarding their potential discharge.
There has been a lot of positive momentum for trans* troops in the last year, but there is still not official policy protecting them and guaranteeing their right to serve openly.
The problem, of course, is not that Sgt. Ortega and other trans* servicemembers exist; the problem is that transphobia does.
This blogaround brought to you by the smell of black dirt.
Brendan: [Content Note: Patriarchy; misogynist terrorism] Hackers, Gamers, and Cyborgs
Ali: [CN: Fat hatred; disablism; class warfare] Wellness Programs Are Terrible and Getting Worse
Teddy: [CN: War on agency] Laws Banning Abortion Procedure 'Substituting Political Decisions for Medical Decisions'
Daniel: [CN: Racism; police brutality; othering] Ferguson Protesters Were Reportedly Called 'Enemy Forces' Among National Guard Troops
Akiba: [CN: Death; possible hate crime] The Wise Words of Slain Activist Catherine Han Montoya
Digby: Jeb Is Going to Have a Tough Time with the "Politics of the Past"
Nadia: Silk: Marvel's New Asian American Female Superhero
Veronica: Review: The Hillary Clinton Coloring Book
And happy 13th (!!!) blogiversary to Atrios!
Leave your links and recommendations in comments. Self-promotion welcome and encouraged!
Some goddamn genius spliced together footage from Interstellar of Matthew McConaughey's character getting super emotional while watching a video message from his daughter and the new Star Wars trailer, so it looks like he's having a meltdown while watching the new trailer, and it is fucking AMAAAAAAAZING.
Here is some stuff in the news today...
[Content Note: Homophobia] Next week, the US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on same-sex marriage, and Zack Ford has "Ten Novel, Absurd, and Irrelevant Arguments Made in Supreme Court Briefs Against Marriage Equality." Honest to fuck, anti-equality advocates are really scraping the bottom of the barrel for the most absurd remnants of their fetid bigotry at this point.
[CN: Racism] The Greater Fredericksburg (Virginia) Tourism Partnership, VisitFred.com, has launched a campaign that invites people to "Civil War-ize" themselves by sticking their face on the body of a Civil War General. Virginia is for lovers—and, apparently, for racist Civil War fetishists. (If you'd like to politely let "Fred" know your thoughts about this campaign, their contact page is here.)
[CN: Fat hatred; body shaming; images may be NSFW] Amanda Kate Richards's response to Lane Bryant's #ImNoAngel campaign is terrific. "[T]he campaign features little body diversity. It features plus-size models with similar proportional bodies with small stomachs. She argues that even though Lane Bryant is a plus-size retailer, they never feature a true range of plus-size women in their ads. Plus-size women come in all different shapes and sizes so their campaign should reflect that." FACT. A lack of fat body diversity is a problem with many plus-size retailers and "plus-size beauty" campaigns.
[CN: Racism; police brutality; child neglect] The thing I like about this idea for child support reform is that it better recognizes children as citizens of the State, who are owed having their basic needs met even if their parent(s) can't (or won't) meet them. I also think that directing child support from the State would probably facilitate better co-parenting in a lot of cases, which would also be a net positive for kids.
[CN: Discussion of transmisogynoir; image may be NSFW] Laverne Cox talks about why she posed for Allure's annual nude issue: "Black women are not often told that we're beautiful unless we align with certain standards. Trans women certainly are not told we're beautiful. Seeing a black transgender woman embracing and loving everything about herself might be inspiring to some other folks. There's beauty in the things we think are imperfect. That sounds very cliché, but it's true." Love her.
[CN: Food insecurity; privilege] Gwyneth Paltrow doing the food stamp challenge was "the most Gwyneth Paltrow thing ever," until she wrote about it for GOOP, and now that is the most Gwyneth Paltrow thing ever.
Neat! "After spending more than a month in orbit on the dark side of dwarf planet Ceres, NASA's Dawn spacecraft has captured several views of the sunlit north pole of this intriguing world. These images were taken on April 10 from a distance of 21,000 miles (33,000 kilometers), and they represent the highest-resolution views of Ceres to date."
Fuck yeah! "Better Call Saul proved to have remarkable stamina over the course of its freshman run, solidifying its status as cable's No. 1 new series of the year." See you next year, Saul!
And finally! More evidence that dogs feel something very close to what we call love: "Japanese researchers found that dogs who trained a long gaze on their owners had elevated levels of oxytocin, a hormone produced in the brain that is associated with nurturing and attachment, similar to the feel-good feedback that bolsters bonding between parent and child. After receiving those long gazes, the owners' levels of oxytocin increased, too." And this paragraph, about dogs fixedly looking at us, just made me cry: "'If I was dropped on Mars,' Dr. MacLean said, 'and everyone was speaking a language I didn't understand, and I knew I could never acquire their language, I'd just give up. But dogs don't. They're not reluctant to tune in to us at every moment.'" Dogs never give up. Blub.
[Content Note: Poverty; deportation.]
This is a heartbreaking story about a teacher in a school district with high rates of poverty who asked her elementary school students what they wished she knew about them.
"I wish my teacher knew I don't have pencils at home to do my homework," read one of the responses. "I wish my teacher knew how much I miss my dad because he got deported to Mexico when I was 3 years old and I haven't seen him in 6 years," read another.
The responses are deeply moving, and other teachers have started using the lesson with their students, in order to try to get to know them better.
"I wish my teacher knew I don't have a friend to paly [sic] with me."
I love the idea behind this project, not only so that teachers may better know their students and what they need, but also so that students can feel heard and valued; can feel like their needs matter; can feel like being known to someone matters.
That's important for everyone to feel.
If you are inclined to do so, please share in comments what you wish people knew about you.
I wish people knew...
Lucasfilm Responds to 7-Year-Old's Request to Let Jedi Marry. Oh, my heart. Good job, Lucasfilm. Well done indeed.
[H/T to Iain.]
Suggested by Shaker iwillbedamned: What was a time you were legitimately awed by an experience?
[Content Note: Misogyny.]
So, one of the things I was thinking about, after I posted the thing about Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton, is how often I rarely hear Hillary Clinton spoken about in the same sentence as another woman without a frame that casts them as adversaries and/or competitors.
With the important caveats that no woman owes Hillary Clinton a vote, and that she must continue to work to earn the trust of all women, especially women of color, I find it really interesting (ahem) that a female candidate who has spent much of her career talking about women's issues is almost never discussed as having a good relationship with any other women.
And, the thing is, Clinton works extremely well with lots of other women. She seems to have a warm relationship with lots of her female colleagues: Women who work for her, women who work with her, other female leaders in the US, other female leaders around the globe.
Just a quick Google image search later, here is a totally different narrative than the one we usually get about Hillary Clinton:
IT'S HERE IT'S HERE IT'S HERE! ANOTHER OFFICIAL TEASER TRAILER FOR STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS!!! WHICH SHOWS MORE STUFF! LET'S ALL WATCH IT AND/OR READ THE TRANSCRIPT AND TALK ABOUT IT LIKE A BUNCH OF SUPER EXCITED NERDS! OR NOT! WHATEVER IS YOUR PREFERENCE!
[Content Note: Fat hatred.]
So, one of the things about existing as a fat person in a fat-hating culture is that you get lots of heinous questions. (At least, many of us do.)
Many of these questions, as you'd expect, are centered around our eating habits, our exercise regimen, our medical "numbers," and other attemps to ascertain why we're fat and/or whether we are unhealthy.
But then there are the questions that are just absurdly heinous, invasive, personal, and utterly dehumanizing—questions that remind us that we are regarded as a whole other species by a lot of our fellow humans.
* How do you find clothes that fit you?
* Can you reach your ass to wipe it?
* Are you able to get pregnant?
* How do you have sex?
Here is some stuff in the news today...
[Content Note: Drowning] Another terrible capsizing of a migrant boat on the Mediterranean: "More than 40 people have drowned in the latest sinking of a migrant boat between Libya and Italy. The Italian navy rescued four people, Almost 10,000 migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean have been plucked from the sea in recent days. Hundreds have died since the start of the year. Italy has called for more help from the EU to handle the crisis. Earlier this week, about 400 people were believed to have drowned when their boat capsized. ...Earlier on Thursday Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said Italy had 'not had an adequate response from the EU.' But the European Union has said it has no 'silver bullet' for the problem of thousands of migrants trying to reach Europe." Fuck.
[CN: Police brutality; racism] Congress finally thinks it needs to do something about police brutality against black people: "Top US lawmakers are to discuss ways of tackling the killing of black suspects by police amid signs that the hitherto muted political response to a spate of recent controversies is giving way to more concerted attempts at reform. ...Citing the police killings of Scott, Eric Garner in New York and 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, New York representative Hakeem Jeffries asked what else Congress needs to see in order for lawmakers to be convinced that some form of action is required. 'Over the last year we've seen a parade of [horrible] examples of police violence caught on video for all of America to see. We're compelled to ask the question: what more does Congress need to see in order to understand that we've got a problem? That requires Democrats and Republicans, people in the House and the Senate, working in partnership with the president, to address,' Jeffries said."
[CN: Police misconduct; racism] In related news: "Private Company Conspired with Police to Hold Poor People for Ransom, Lawsuit Charges." At this point, a lot of police forces are behaving like just another for-profit organization making money on the exploitation of poor people, especially in communities of color.
[CN: Homophobia] Um, Apple? What are you even doing? "Apple is refusing to explain how and why the Russian language version of its voice-controlled virtual assistant, Siri, provided homophobic answers to queries relating to gay or lesbian topics. ...When contacted by the Guardian, Apple refused to give further comment, replying with a single sentence saying only that Siri's responses had been 'fixed.' Follow-up questions regarding the specific cause of the problem, and whether steps had been taken to ensure the incident wasn't repeated, Apple declined to comment."
[CN: Addiction; drug-induced psychosis] Flakka is the newest synthetic drug that is reportedly pushing people over the edge during extreme highs. There is a lot of scary shit on the streets these days.
[CN: Racism; video may autoplay at link] Last night on American Idol, one of the contestants, a black teenager named Quentin, was upset after his best friend was revealed to be up for elimination, and said that the situation was "wack." It was patently obvious (at least to Iain and me, watching at home) that he was just expressing an entirely understandable sadness about his BFF being in the bottom two, but the whole thing spiraled the fuck out of control, with Harry Connick, Jr. telling him he was being disrespectful and Jennifer Lopez lecturing him on keeping his emotions together and OMFG. Like, the response was so out of line with what actually happened that Iain and I were like: This is racism, right? This has to be racism. They are seeing an Angry Black Man where an upset teenager is. It was soooo fucked up.
[CN: Misogyny] Paul Feig continues to be utterly contemptuous of the all-dude Ghostbusters remake trying to upstage his all-female remake. "I've got my four funny ladies, and that's all I care about."
Y'all know I don't know or care about Doctor Who (I'M SORRY!) but I figure those of you who do will like this, so here is Christopher Eccleston talking about classism and racism and misogyny: "You can't blame Eddie Redmayne, Benedict Cumberbatch, and others taking their opportunities, but it will lead to a milky, anodyne culture. To an extent that's already happened. I confess I don't watch much film or television drama but I'm aware of the predominance of white, male roles. It's not just about the working class. There's not enough writing for women or people of colour. It frustrates me when they insist on doing all-male Shakespearean productions—a wonderful intellectual exercise, maybe, but it's outrageous because it's putting a lot of women out of work." P.S. I can totally blame Eddie Redmayne and Benedict Cumberbatch for taking many of the roles they've taken!
And finally! "The 15 Goofiest Animals Who Make the World a Happier Place." Obviously.