Category: Politics

Weekend Links

“. . . the newspapers of Utopia, he had long ago decided, would be terribly dull.” 
― Arthur C. Clarke, 2001: A Space Odyssey

Kittens! Friday is upon us!

A major hurricane has struck the Gulf Coast and Florida, a prominent journalist has been killed by (apparently) Saudi Arabian order, Princess Eugenie got married (wearing hella emeralds), the stock market is veering all over the place, and Taylor Swift is political now. Just another week in 2018…

Share your weekend plans with me in the comments. I’m still dealing with a collapsed ceiling and we have set up camp in the living room at the moment. It’s all very exciting and uncomfortable. Keeping a household running when you’ve lost a third of your living space and the rest has been compromised is not a walk in the park, believe me.

HIGHLY relevant to my interests, childhood and other wise.

I’m still not over the new direction of Celine.

This piece better articulates than I could ever could why the rise in social tensions (spearheaded by racist and sexist language and policy) are so frightening in the larger context of Western democracy: “…a leader can more easily create political and legal hierarchies if there are other social hierarchies.” Strongmen rise to power on the shoulders of men mobilized to hate and diminish marginalized groups.

How nationalist populism has been on the rise since the 1980s, and why it isn’t going away anytime soon.

This past week the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on climate change was issued, and the takeaway is sobering. In terms of agricultural shifts, natural disasters, coastal region changes, and ecological damage, the scientific consensus is that we will begin tracking even more noticeable and rapid changes in the next twenty years. So, what will produce viable change? Virtue arguments about natural preservation have been only moderately effective in addressing climate change, I wonder if issues of human migration and economy are the only ways to frame the risks in ways that the current political reality will accept or engage. That doesn’t speak well of us as a species…

Friend of the Blog Caitlin Kelly wrote a reported, but also deeply personal piece for the New York Times on her experience with a scary medical scenario and the importance of touch in the medical profession.

I am so excited for this show.

Helena Fitzgerald writes for my soul.

This is a hell of a security breach to simply not tell anyone about for this long! We need to lose the narrative that big data is going to save anything, they are just as muddled as the rest of us.

Denials aside, insert the “she’s running” jokes here. Maybe not just yet, or maybe just for future Secretary of State, but she’s running for something.

I’d absolutely spend money on this.

Woof, this beauty news story keeps spiraling…

I argue the premise with this headline. The NYT story didn’t bomb, it’s relevant. Any under-reaction is further testament to the reality that rich people can get away with operating in the shades of gray because people, governments, and even law enforcement don’t care to look into the machinations and side effects of wealth in the same way that they want to police the side effects of poverty.

Hurry up and get here, already!

What an utterly bizarre article

Although, this piece thoughtfully explores, maybe being bizarre and over exposed is the point. It’s working. The president doesn’t have supporters in the old way, he has a fandom in the new. And the thing about fans is that they are, well, fanatic in their love. That’s the point.

Weekend Links: A Bad Week

“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” 
― Benjamin Franklin

Guys, it’s been a bad week.

Patriarchy and just plain bad faith and political machinations have struck a victory this week in the US Supreme Court. The last remaining bastion of the US political system that could at least claim a veneer of being apolitical has lost that veneer in this week, and we are all the worse off for it. This wasn’t an appointment process, it was a political campaign of a political operative. And it worked.

The Trumpification of the Republican party is complete and they have solidified their power in shockingly short time. This is, I believe, the 4th Justice nominated by a president who has not won the popular vote. In partisan times where we are increasingly defaulting to scorched earth politics and tirbalism, I think it’s not unreasonable to feel that this could lead to some kind of crisis of legitimacy for the court. The executive is currently unchecked, the legislative branch is out to lunch, and the legitimacy of the courts could fall into question. That feels an awful lot like a constitutional crisis.

Meanwhile, in personal news, our bedroom ceiling collapsed last night. This, after a long week of work, has been something of a final straw to my sanity and I’m logging off this weekend to deal with the subsequent cascading problems and issues required to deal with this scenario. Good luck out there, kittens, and be kind to other people.

IT BEGINS.

How great is this townhouse?!

So…the Kavanaugh investigation was an ass covering sham. Shock. Surprise. This is after the President mocked Dr. Ford at one of his rallies, which is cruel and tasteless in the extreme. Again, shock. Surprise.

Senator Susan Collins was the deciding supporter. A Crowdpac is already raising funds for her eventual seat challenger in response.

Speaking of cruel. What purpose does this serve except to be awful?

Count me among the many who cocked her head to the side at the new creative direction of the Celine brand, and said “WUT.”

Who gets to be a “good” refugee?

Whoa. I feel a bit better about my beauty habits now, but still…whoa. The statistic that Britons spend nearly £4,500 on average doesn’t actually surprise me anymore, even though I’m grateful to say I’m nowhere near that amount. I had a conversation in the last month with a bunch of women who it turns out spend just as much money as I do, but in different ways. Most of the women I know get haircuts more regularly than me, they self tan, get regular manicures. Some wax,  some get semi-permanent services like eyelash or hair extensions, some get fillers, some do absolutely none of the above. But however way you slice it, whether it’s products or procedures, it’s frighteningly easy to overspend in this category and it’s clear to me that as a society, that’s exactly what we’re doing.

Caitlin Flanagan hits it out of the park again, with Henry V references, an examination of the 1980s, and how Dr. Ford’s story may have gone differently in a different age. And yet for all that… “But, for what it’s worth—probably nothing—more and more outside observers are starting to believe Ford. And more and more of Kavanaugh’s supporters are starting to move to the quiet position that he might have attacked her, but that he should not pay a price for it…

Give Indonesia a break, Mother Nature! Here are a few ways to help the victims.

Toxic masculinity is not new, not by a long shot, but this particular moment seems to have been building for a long time. This article traces some key roots to MTV’s Pick Up Artist, and the connection makes more sense than I thought when I first heard about the piece.

Reminder there are STILL children in camps and cages.

I am already on the library waitlist for Rebecca Traister’s latest book which explores female anger as a catalyst for change. This interview got me even more hyped up! This other Vox piece really spoke to me. Yes women are angry. But it would be an error to mistake that for being confused or flailing. Women’s anger is often considered a private matter, but it’s becoming permanently public.

A member of the Mormon Feminist Blogger and Literati Set wrote a powerful, personal post this week about the confluence of our shared religious heritage with the current cultural moment. It hit me RIGHT in the feelings… “The weirdest thing about writing is that I am so conditioned to not believe women, that even I don’t believe myself when I write my own stories….We don’t like to talk about those things. Nobody does–even though every single family has them. I absolutely do not blame the women of my blood for their trauma, but I do bitterly denounce them for letting white male supremacy pass on–like a genetic trait, blue eyes or impossible hair–to their children, as if it was their destiny. ”

The New York Times published a year long investigation into the realities of the Trump family’s money. It is a fascinating read and, were we living in normal times, should probably prompt investigations or at the very least calls from Congress for the president to release transparent financial information. I’ve written before about how working in a certain level of the property industry for several years made me much more aware of the shades of gray that the wealth of this world moves through–the shady but often technically legal practices and loopholes that exist and are used by interested parties to shield their money. I wasn’t at all surprised to read about the streams of income that Fred Trump used to channel wealth to his children, nor am I at all surprised to read that President Trump has probably lied about that money flow over the years. And I will not be surprised if there are next to no consequences or actions taken as a result of this reporting, I’m very sorry to say.

In purely trivial news, the Duchess of Sussex stepped out in a look that is Extremely My Aesthetic (right down to the Gabrielle Hearst bag that I loved and secretly longed for for years and can NEVER afford). The Fug Girls are on the case!

I’m not the first to make this observation, but can you imagine the political right’s reaction if President Obama had this capability? The conspiracy theories and comparison to 1984 would have been through the roof. In related news, never have I been as glad to not have a US mobile phone!

Banksy did his usual thing.

And finally, fuck right off, Senator.

Weekend Links

“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” 
― Elie Wiesel

Remember last week? Approximately thirty years ago?

My god, even in 2018-adjusted terms, this was a hell of a roller coaster and I’m having a hard time trying to put this post together when all I’ve been doing is working, watching the Kavanaugh hearings, and dealing with a fresh set of water leaks in our apartment in my “spare” time. I’m tired and I’m getting sick, which usually happens when the seasons change.

In happier news, a seasonal change means cold weather clothing, and I am ready! Don’t roll your eyes, kittens, in this day and age we need to take whatever trivial joys life gives us with both hands and run.

Here is an extra big heaping does of links for your weekend reading. I will just leave you with the following salute: I adore and am sustained by other angry women–in a way I find hard to explain to even my most sympathetic male friends. Angry women change worlds.

 

Glamour (going out of print, sob!) has a fantastic video series about how women at different salary levels spend their money. It’s interesting, insightful, and is a welcome resource. It’s alarming how little information was out there in terms of financial advice or context geared specifically towards women a few years ago, but I love content that redresses that balance. I really enjoyed their latest especially.

Deeply relevant to my interests and history.

This excellent story about obesity and how we as a society have failed on multiple levels (medically, scientifically, agriculturally, and culturally) to acknowledge and manage it is damning.

Men are cancelled.

The awful things Kavanaugh allegedly did only imperfectly correlate to the familiar frame of sexual desire run amok; they appear to more easily fit into a different category—a toxic homosociality—that involves males wooing other males over the comedy of being cruel to women.” POW. Right in the feels.

Wanting to be part of the solution requires knowing when you’re part of the problem.

What are we saying? What are our girls hearing?

Thank god for male allies. Though I will accept this rebrand.

THANK GOD FOR ANGRY WOMEN. To support the foundation that one of these brave souls serves as executive director, click here. Here’s to Senator Jeff Flake doing…the absolute bare minimum but thank goodness he is and at time of writing it appears there will be a (weirdly limited) investigation into allegations of poor behavior by Judge Kavanaugh. That is literally how these things are supposed to work: an accusation, and investigation, and a weighing of evidence. My cynicism suggests he will still be seated to the Supreme Court, however. Meanwhile, McKay Coppins of The Atlantic was there to snag the interview.

Literally saw this news alert at 9:30pm last night and logged off of everything but Netflix. There is simply too much happening too quickly

What some of the undercurrents of the 40-year mission to stock the courts with conservative justices look like and why.

This was an actual media event here in Britain while we’re debating how much sexual assault is TOO much sexual assault in the US.

In other men behaving badly news: Elon Musk.

And in businesses screwing up again: Facebook. Again. Oy.

What is the connection between Brexit and religion? You may be surprised!

A fantastic collection of photos–I’m struck at how incredibly American these shots look and feel. It feels poignant, especially given the circumstances.

The President gave a BONKERS hour and a half press conference, which I callously and cynically interpreted as a (slightly unhinged) attempt to grab control of the news cycle the next day…just in time for the Kavanaugh hearings and his much hyped meeting with Mr. Rosenstein. Which was subsequently cancelled, probably because of the Kavanaugh hearings.

Being bad at stuff.

I could be reading this wrong, but is the attitude towards climate change literally, “Well it’s happening and we’re all fucked so why change anything” here?

Long live Misty

Let’s talk about tea. (Editor’s note, this is not about tea.)

And finally, I had a bit of a grim realization this morning. Unlike in the Anita Hill hearings, the strategy was never to attack or discredit Dr. Ford, indeed many republicans said that they didn’t doubt her account exactly, they just doubted she was attacked by Brett Kavanaugh. Which is doubting her account. But no matter. They weren’t going to smear her, they were going to let her speak her piece…and then move on and appoint this man regardless. Yesterday I wrote a piece talking about the decision before us all as a society in this moment, not just with Kavanaugh but certainly typified by his hearings: are women acceptable collateral damage? It hadn’t fully hit me that the decision had been taken and the answer was yes. I am not sure what to do with this realization except to remind every last one of you to vote in the midterms. Confirm your registration today, inform yourself of your local ballot, and get ready.

A Woman’s Worth?

every woman in this pic tho pic.twitter.com/6Y2SvY4YlU

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The Kavanaugh hearings are a shit show but they do show what a corner certain parts of society have painted themselves into:

  • They’ve tried to argue, “it was a long time ago,” and lost the moral high ground because there is no expiration on decency
  • They’ve tried to argue, “even if it DID happen, he’s a good man,” and lost the moral high ground again because good men (and there are PLENTY OF THEM) don’t harass women
  • They’ve tried to argue, “the mistakes of youth shouldn’t follow people,” and lost the moral high ground for simultaneously holding opinions that young men and women who commit petty crimes or fall pregnant should have those choices follow them for the rest of their lives
  • They’ve tried to claim respecting women, and then got the highest office in the land to cast doubts and aspersions on the women who have come forward (almost all of them admitting fear of doing so, having seen what happened to Anita Hill and knowing how many of the EXACT SAME MEN will be questioning them in the same way).
  • They’ve tried to use the “drunken/slut/drunken slut” aspect…but women aren’t tolerating that shit any more.

There have been libellous accusations made on Twitter that cross the line into outright conspiracy theory. There is some evidence of coordination of smear tactics and commentary amongst allies (looking at you, Senator Hatch’s office). And even as more and more accusations of bad, crass, and increasingly ugly behavior piled up, the Senate seemed hell bent on trying to fast track his confirmation.

In other words…

The hearings have also underscored for me that if there’s anything people who benefit from a powerful structure can do, it’s ignore the corners.

Kavanaugh’s defense of himself was all the things that a woman, a person of color, or frankly any member of the non-patriarchy could never be: tearful, a bit petulant at having to defend himself in the first place (a textbook definition of privilege), indignant, and emotional.

Every male Republican senator who questioned him expressed sympathy for having to deal with the accusations. There were far fewer expressions of sympathy for Dr. Ford for her ordeal. Lindsey Graham seemed to be auditioning for a role on the Cabinet with a shrill explosion that interrupted Ms. Mitchel, the lawyer hired to question Dr. Blasley Ford and the nominee. The reigns were never really handed back, meaning that Dr. Blasley Ford was questioned by a trained lawyer, Judge Kavanaugh was questioned by his allies. The Cable News Watcher In Chief tweeted his support.

This whole story has been an exercise in patriarchy closing ranks in self defense. I have no doubt that there will be a committee vote today, and I expect he will be seated to the Supreme Court. In spite of a desperately partisan biases on display (on both sides, yes, but one has to wonder how his statements may come back to haunt him in his future rulings). In spite of credible questions of bad behaviour and poor judgement. In spite of it all.

At some point, the ruling party (and a whole lot of society) is going to have to make a decision: are women–their bodies and their stories, their truths and their needs–disposable or not? Is the safety and autonomy of girls and women worthy of defense and respect, worthy of holding powerful men to account and denying them advancement and prestige when they violate it?

Or are women’s bodies acceptable collateral damage on your route to power? If yes, fine. Own it. It’s misogyny, and it really is that simple.

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Weekend Links: We Need to Talk About Kavanaugh

“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.” 
― Theodore Roosevelt

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.

NO SHIT.

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.

Interesting.

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!

Weekend Links

“It’s 4:58 on Friday afternoon. Do you know where your margarita is?”
Amy Neftzger

Another Friday is upon us and I’ve compiled a bit batch of weekend reading to get you through the long hours until the Sunday Blues! It’s been another wild week of news and we have much to discuss. Meet me in the comments!

#FreeTheNipple goes way back!

Something wicked

The joy of fall dressing is real!

A thoughtful take on the future of a franchise.

Super normal.

Super great.

“Be aware of false balance” is an editorial directive that should get behind a lot more topics and not just this one in particular.

Two queens. I appreciated the conversation this sparked about how and where women’s rage is still deemed inappropriate, even among champions. Also, women supporting other women (especially in the face of absurdity and impediments) is literally the best thing in the world.

This follow up piece resonated within me like a struck bell: demand the apologies you deserve.

More good things to look forward to as a species.

It’s not an accident that the US President and others has tried to rebrand protests against police brutality (and by extension racism, corruption or bad faith). It’s a conversation a lot of people are desperate to avoid.

More allegations. Genuine question: when does Ronan Farrow sleep? [ETA later this week: Moonves and others out. Good. But my god, do NOT try and fuck with or attempt to discredit Farrow.]

Just awful.

This should be unacceptable and completely avoidable in a modern, advanced society.

GOALS GOALS GOALS. Shut up and take my money!

A thoughtful take on this next phase of #MeToo we find ourselves in.

Another one bites the dust…I’m very sorry to say.

Answer: no, but good question.

Shock. Surprise. A lot of our preconceived notions and propaganda points about immigration are wrong and the actual facts are fascinating!

A break from terrible news for this tease!

This story is a good example of something that I find troubling and an example of how certain bad faith actors are incredibly good a manipulating media. It is very common for conservatives in particular to say that conservative viewpoints are censored–when what they really mean is unpopular in popular spaces like certain social media platforms. This is bad faith because it denies the reality of algorithims which cater and boost content relevant to the viewer in question–meaning that a person with a certain viewpoint is actually statistically likely to get their view reinforced with content. It is also bad faith because it fails to acknowledge the wealth, power, and influence of the conservative media machine and the fact that conservative politicians and appointees are in power at every level of state and federal government. What censorship?! The President routinely favors and calls into certain networks and platforms while vilifying others. Organizations who are led by left-leaning individuals are then pressured into appearing unbiased in favor of their own view points and, in my opinion, go out of their way to then cater to opposing view points. This is, of course, exactly what the aim of the accusations is in the first place. Again, bad faith.

We have a new president…of Planned Parenthood!

Absolutely fuck this noise. The number of immigrant children being detained has spiked again.

Let us celebrate the anniversary of his never-ending war with Eddie.

We have a contender for the “most dystopian phrase I’ve heard in a while, and boy isn’t that saying something” category from Mr. Bezos.

And finally, we have another contender for the “worst thing he’s ever tweeted” category this week:

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ETA: your Friday news blast.

Weekend Links: Bread and Circuses Edition

“Two things only the people anxiously desire — bread and circuses.”
– Juvenal

Unpopular hot take: nothing in political news that happened this week is exactly revelatory. President Trump is exactly the same in private as he is in public–which is what interviews, background statements, and his own Twitter feed have been telling us since day one. A lot of people are willing to complain about him, but only anonymously, and few are willing to do anything that actually holds him to account. This is the new status quo.

Here’s a batch of weekend reading for you, my lovelies. It’s not all bad political news, I promise.

Another book about the Trump White House dropped this week and unfortunately (for him) this one’s by an author that a lot of D.C. takes pretty seriously. He’s also got receipts.

The Academy walks it back!

Hideous, but not surprising. I’m immensely sorry to say.

Equally horrific and unsurprising at this point.

Mix me the perfect green, someone.

Somebody check on Sandra Bullock and George Clooney real quick.

A compelling longform piece about, ah, enhancements.

New Gambino video!

I have been pondering lately on the reality that an entire industry exists to put people in financial thrall to the government, making the government quite a tidy profit. The more I think about this, the angrier it makes me.

I genuinely teared up reading about this news story this past week. Cultural heritage is human legacy and it’s irreplaceable.

?!?!?!?!

Okay, I put it off for a bit and tried to get some fun content in…but we’ve got to talk about it. Even by the absolutely topsy turvy standards of the times, this op ed was astounding. And the theorizing commenced immediately. Lots of theorizing. It’s fun to speculate (I mean, as “fun” as the public debate over whether your democratically elected leader is in fact 1) unfit for office and 2) is actually being managed by a shadowy cabal–either of these options being bad for said democracy in some way or another–can be) but my possibly unpopular take is that this op ed feels self serving and cowardly instead of brave: either sign your name to your opinions and quit like a principled public servant, or protect and serve an administration you genuinely support. To do anything other is to be complicit in destabilizing the country. These background style interviews and exposes are of decreasing value to us as citizens. Go on the record if you feel the situation is really so dire, or shut up.

Another option is that this is signalling to supporters of the policies, if not the man, to stay the course. Which also feels  like cowardly way to go about governing a country.

Finally, here’s a piece arguing in favor of Anonymous, positing the like-minded civil servants are really all we have between us and bad leadership. A cynical if ruthlessly cleared view of a government based on the honor system and how we cope with the reality that no one is playing by the rules right now.

This piece is both about Tucker Carlson, and not. Either way, it’s good.

Maybe don’t buy the fish

I have been following the Judge Kavanaugh hearings but only in small briefs from trusted news sources. I’m too angry to take in more than curt, factual summaries and at time of closing on this post, the story is moving too quickly for me to link anything. Between grandstanding politicians, leaked documents, and protests, I have no idea how this story is going to end…but I’m going to guess with a partisan confirming vote. No links, only gnashes of teeth.

Here at least is an op ed I can get behind.

Beauty YouTube drama, explained.

This is a statement. The risks for a campaign like this are not small for any business, but you have to admit it got people talking. I love it.