“The President and the Congress are all very well in their way. They can say what they think they think, but it rests with the Supreme Court to decide what they have really thought.”
Darlings, again Friday is upon us and again I have put together an absolutely scrumptious and extra long list of links for you. I am making an effort to leaven political news with humor, thoughtfulness, and ardent feminism. FUN! And once again, I’m dropping this post early because it’s already ridiculously long. This is probably unwise because all the news bombs drop on Friday these days, but oh well!
This week, of course, the FEMA Chief is under investigation, a former National Security Adviser is having charges brought against him, the administration announced another $200m in tariffs (aka, fancy taxes), a Supreme Court nominee stands accused of sexual assault in his minor years (and the nation doesn’t know what to do with this information). It’s provoking a lot of challenging conversations, which is good, but I still believe he is likely to be ramrodded into a seat on the highest bench in the land, which I believe to be bad. It is not too high a bar to clear to ask that our Justices be either free from or cleared of such allegations before taking a lifelong appointment.
Should past sins haunt a man for the rest of his days? Well, it depends. A lot of people who say that a teenage mistake should not condemn a man for the rest of his life are gung ho about a teenage girl carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term, or jailing other teenagers for life for some infractions. Others seem to want to declare an amnesty period for all men: prior to 2018, no sexual crimes should count against us, we know better now! …As if we didn’t have laws or society expectations until two years ago when this reporting started coming out. Overall, a lot of people seem to want a revolution without having to pay a price or do the work required to make society better. Part of that work is the uncomfortable task of holding people to a new standard, even when it’s “your guy.”
Meanwhile, this guy in particular is the culmination of a near half-century strategy to stock courts with justices of a particular political persuasion. He’s also been appointed by a president who is under investigation for obstruction of justice. What are those in power willing to overlook in order to meet their goal? Well, we will see. I expect: all of the above.
We’re in the midst of Fashion Month, so this investigative reporting on the shocking wages some craftswomen earn whilst propping up some of the world’s luxury fashion houses is very well timed.
“Americans need to stop believing that women do the majority of care work because we want to. It’s because we’re expected to, because we’re judged if we don’t, and most of all, because it’s incredibly difficult to find male partners willing to do an equal share of the work.”
Another story that should be too stupid to be real, but is.
Guys, did anyone else not realize that “comedic wildlife photography” was a thing? If so, let me share some recent enlightenment with you!
“From the very beginning, the devices that the Founders hoped would prevent the rapid mobilization of passionate majorities didn’t work in all the ways they expected,” writes Jeffrey Rosen in The Atlantic.
This weather report went viral for a reason. (language warning on the link) This is a great example of how media and digital innovations can be used to educate and provide context to a population.
There is something deeply, deeply chilling about the idea that a sexual assault allegation surfaced about a Supreme Court nominee and somehow his supporting party had a 65-signature letter ready to go to testify to his decency. In other words…the Republicans knew. And it was not disqualifying or even worthy of commentary, just a problem to be preempted. I felt physically ill reading these updates.
Hot DAMN, what a thread!
Everything is going to kill us…
YouTuber and Guy On the Internet CGP Grey is thinking about something that I too am thinking about a lot. I have felt my own attention span shrink over the years and have also filled up silences with the noise of podcasts, videos, music, the endless phone scroll, and so on. And I also wonder collectively what this is doing to us as a society in which most of our problems require long term solutions and our patience and ability to focus is in ever dwindling supply.
Further to the previous link, this piece about the confluence of our current tech and culture and our own primal instincts (and the damage it might be doing) is a sobering but worthwhile read.
This news story is chilling and bizarre.
I want to frame this entire Vox piece on the “redemption” arc of #MeToo perpetrators and what so many (mostly men) are STILL NOT GETTING. “By any sane moral calculus, concern for restorative justice or redemption ought to focus on the victims. The women. What is their “road back” from the harm C.K. did to them? How will they be restored or redeemed? What are we doing for them? What is C.K. doing for them? This is what women see: that somehow, we’ve made men the protagonists again. Somehow or other, it always ends up being about the men, their struggles and second chances, our feelings for and about them.”
What do women want from the #MeToo men? More than the bare minimum of human decency, writes Anne Theriault.
“…it seemed to me essential, as a bare first step, for the man in question to understand that his experience is not inherently more important than the experiences of women, to acknowledge what he did, and that it was wrong. This is the minimum precondition for the better world we’re struggling toward. It is amazing, if not surprising, how many of the men in question are incapable of it.” Give this woman all the accolades.
“I believe her.” A powerful essay.
How good men become complicit in protecting bad ones. (Can be extrapolated to any powerful group over less powerful ones; see also: police.)
Dealing with good art from bad people.
The 2008 Financial Crisis officially kicked off ten years ago this week. I had quite literally just graduated from university a couple of weeks earlier.
The Economist is celebrating their 175th anniversary with a manifesto issuing a call to rekindle liberalism as “universal commitment to individual dignity, open markets, limited government and a faith in human progress brought about by debate and reform.” It’s well worth the read.
I loved this article by Pandora Sykes in interrogating what we share and what we withhold, especially in a culture where our ability to overshare has never been greater.
I will be very upset if Gen. Mattis goes.
WHO WANTS THIS? WHO ASKED FOR IT?
Give this man a programme and a massive budget to accomplish this mission.
The gross catch 22 of the pro gun lobby when it comes to black men in particular (in the wake of the hideous murder of Botham Jean): more of you should be gun owners to prevent harm being done to you, but possessing a gun will automatically put you on the threat register of law enforcement and common citizens and make you more likely to be the target of violence or a police shooting.
Speaking of, what would stop or at least limit mass shootings? One journalist decides to ask an unlikely set of experts: mass shooters.
This is my local farm and my local piglets. Return them, scoundrels!
Planet Money re-released their first ever episode in honor of both their anniversary and the anniversary of the global financial crisis they were more or less founded to help explain. It’s a doozy in retrospect. They’ve also listed their Top Ten episodes which are well worth a listen! This has been an important show both in the trajectory of podcasting as a medium, and more me personally as I’ve lived through a recession and learned a lot about economics and money through quality journalism and nonprofit medium.
This seems…well…unsurprising and increasingly common.
Guys, this is super awkward, but one of you is going to need to buy this for me.
No. Just no to the awful and tired phrase, “boys will be boys.” Boys will be men someday, with the power and weight of patriarchy behind them.
We as a society need to take a long, hard look in the mirror on the subject of basic empathy and kindness.
Salute the Captain!
The Duchess of Sussex nailed her first major public issues project, but what we need to talk about is how absolutely adorable and lovely her mother looks!