Tag: Politics

Weekend Link Addendum: The Fall of Cromwell

Rookie mistake, C., posting the links before the end of the day…

Bannon is out. I’m not sorry to see him go, but I’m highly aware that this man still has the ear of and media arm around a large number of angry, empowered, militantly armed people. He’s mobilised them. He rose to prominence and put a president in power by channeling their rage and resentment. I’m worried he may still have influence over them.

I’m equally worried that he doesn’t or soon won’t. I believe that he has incorrectly judged that he could coalesce and control these groups long term to achieve his political ends–that a devil’s bargain was made. They have unleashed forces and brought to the sunlight what had been festering underground, online, on message boards, in chat rooms, but less seldom dared to show its face in public. I’m very aware that the younger generation of white supremacists chose deliberately to wear no face coverings.

This administration rose to power by rousing the rabble, as I once said. It’s roused. I don’t think they can control or check it. And we are all of us less safe, our morals in question, our national security compromised, because of it.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Weekend Links

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. ”
– Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

The American political news this week was appalling and, as a citizen abroad, cripplingly humiliating. The history of the American nation is one of a country constantly falling short of its own ideals, and yet striving tirelessly towards them anyway. We’ve backslid, we’ve divided, we’ve pushed for better, we’ve linked arms and moved forward together. I trust that will continue. But the current moment feels really, really dark. There are astonishing moments of light and brightness, yes, but I find myself constantly dismayed at my own naivete in thinking so many of the forces I see ascendant now were–not dead (I’m not that dumb), but were at least on the down and out. I was wrong. I was ignorant. I won’t make the mistake of complacency again.

To put your money where your mouth is in condemning white nationalism (code of white supremacy), BossedUp has put together an excellent list of causes you can support here. I will be donating, I encourage you to do the same.

The whole Charlottesville story is awful so let me be clear: if you are a purpose who purports to stand against people mobilized by dangerous ideology (political and religious) happening “elsewhere,” I damn sure expect you to oppose it on home turf. At time of adding this story, the photos look inches away from an actual Jim Crow South style lynch mob.

Added over the weekend: it got worse. Rest in power, Heather Heyer.

It got even worse. Seth Meyers, of all people, summed up my feelings on the president’s statements on the matter. Which he then tried to walk back with a scripted statement, which he later overturned again to confirm that his first statements that “both sides” were to blame truly reflected his views. I will concede that both sides threw punches; only one was able to show up armed better than the actual police (thanks to decades of paranoia-rousing and the systematic arming of civilians with military grade weaponry, and entrenched racism–I dare anyone to argue that a para-military group of black men armed to the teeth in an identical way would not have been met with swift and deadly force). Only one side is embracing an ideology that necessitates the subjegation or extermination of millions. There is no moral equivalency, and “both sides” arguments will not hold water here.

Seth Meyers nailed it again. I feel out of ways to say that Mr. Trump is unfit for the office he holds. I am not calling for his impeachment because that is a legal process that must be done in the right way for reasons within the boundaries of law…that or our laws are meaningless. But he is morally, intellectually, temperamentally unfit for the role he has been awarded, and I believe he is causing damage to the office and both the functionality and perception of the American government.

Vice produced a compelling, informative, and frightening mini-documentary almost in real time that should be required viewing in this moment.

This thread about the, let’s be frank, false victimhood of the American white male is required reading.

 

I legitimately had to read this article a couple of times and sit with it, because it’s so self-descriptive. I am horrible at taking holidays, and I am trying to take advantage of them (seeing as how I’m legally entitled to them, and all…) but the guilt I often feel for putting in a time off request is corrosive.

I am not the biggest fan of Taylor Swift, but I read this story of her testimony against a man she accuses of assault with great satisfaction. When questioned how she feels about him losing his job due to the incident, the cool response was: “’I am not going to allow your client to make me feel like it is any way my fault, because it isn’t,’ she said. Later, she continued: ‘I am being blamed for the unfortunate events of his life that are a product of his decisions and not mine.’” Amen and amen.

Sir, could you just not?

Wealth is a strange thing.

Disrupt away, ladies!

Faith in humanity ticking back up.

WAY behind the times but worth celebrating.

Oh man. I’ve given myself permission to buy from this collection when it launches, but now I fear it will take ALL of my money…

I might need to arrange to be on Westminster Bridge next Monday.

Pro tip: be a dick in public, get dragged in public. It’s the brave new media world.

Why white people don’t get to say, “This isn’t us.”

This story could have been handled in a tabloid-y and gross way. In McKay Coppins’ capable hands, it’s done very well.

Another tiny bright spot.

This week in Mormon news, another thing to warm your feeds!

What the **** is wrong with people?! (trigger warning on this one, but a number of -isms are on display here and need to be confronted)

And then, on Thursday, there was another terrorist car attack, this time in Barcelona. Waking up this morning, there was more bad news in Spain. My heart hurts.

Album of the week: Silk and Soul, by Nina Simone

Emotional Journey: The Mooch

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
-Maya Angelou

Ducklings, it’s only Monday. Between the start and finish of our Game of Thrones watch party, Mr. Scaramucci was fired. My full throated laugh in response to this particular sounded not entirely unlike one of the highest and greatest of villainesses in reaction. Gifs of the Grand Evil Dame turned out to illustrate my emotional arc pretty well.

My initial petty reaction:

 

Seriously. Probably enjoying this a bit too much.

 

My internal rendering of Mr. Scaramucci’s surprise.

Not wanted?!

The President, who mistakes attention for progress and infighting for evidence of strength.

Dance, my minions.

 

Me, remembering every time that the Republican party thought he was on their side, or that he could be persuaded to act in their interest or advance their agenda.

Fools.

 

…Then remembering that a guy with an actual nuclear arsenal is treating the global community like an actual elimination style reality TV show.

Three competent generals stand before me, but I have only two slots in my cabinet….

 

Because we elected a guy who literally has never been successful at anything else besides cheap celebrity and getting views, and we gave him a political platform. Yes, we; because we all have to deal with the consequence of this now.

 

Meanwhile, I can only assume somewhere in the bowels of some sanctum somewhere, actual grownups in the Republican party are weighing their options.

Well, I’ll be going…unless you want to talk about cutting taxes for the rich…

 

And finally, my initial burst of malicious mirth subsiding because we are barely six months into this presidency and not a week has gone by without some kind of upset, coarsening of the office, massive gaffe, betrayal of a supposedly trusted subordinate, or a failure of competence.

That evil laugh may have been in poor taste. Let’s dial it down to a cackle, maybe.

 

Jokes aside, let’s now consider the somewhat sobering idea that this guys= might have been brought on board just to get rid of two other characters that the president didn’t like. Characters who, love their politics or hate them, served as the political tie to the Republican party that the president nominally heads. Mr. Scaramucci was a human plot device and he served his purpose. He was then expendable. He’s leaving the scene with a broken marriage, no job, and something of a laughingstock–as did a couple of guys before him. And if that’s not stark warning to anyone cheering on this administration, much less taking a job in it, I don’t know what else I can say about that.

Weekend Links

“You have to remember one thing about the will of the people: it wasn’t that long ago that we were swept away by the Macarena.” 
― Jon Stewart

I GIVE UP, 2017 IS THE DARKEST TIMELINE. Let’s recap.

Monday: POTUS reaches out to the kids. Massively inappropriate speech, sir.

Tuesday: Congress votes to move ahead to debate on a bill none of them have seen. Senator McCain returned to the floor from recent surgery…to vote to proceed with this nonsense and then try and fingerwag at his colleagues for their misbegotten tampering of process and hyperpartisanship. As much as I do like the guy, mixed messages there, sir. You’ll also forgive me for still holding you responsible for part of this mess when you gave Governor Palin and her ilk a spotlight, so the fingerwagging does come with some caveats.

Wednesday: a hideous trash tweet from the president stating that trans people will no longer be able to serve in the military (at time of writing, there was plenty of push back on this and no actual Pentagon policy so I’m hoping this is just Mr. Trump being an ass online per usual and speaking without the foggiest idea of how to bring his word vomit to fruition). Ostensibly this is to keep the government from bearing any costs associated with various surgeries or other medical conditions. Newsflash. What garbage.

Thursday: The Pentagon weighs in. The Mooch might have turned out to be a bit of a mistake.  God damn it, there’s even another Kardashian West in the making?! Secretary Clinton dropped some thoughts. And fuck this noise! Oh…wow…The Mooch story…um…got worse?

Friday: The healthcare repeal bid failed (for now). Senator McMain got a lot of credit for casting a “deciding” vote, which was rather obnoxious to some observers who were quick to point out that Senators Murkowski and Collins had held their position line consistently from the get go. Not a great week for The Mooch. HOLY SHIT.

Annnnnd with that, I’m calling it. No more news updates for the week. Everyone go home. I’m tired. Here, have a few more links for your enjoyment and go take a nap this weekend, kittens. I sure as hell intend to.

She’s back!

I mean, how could you not want a retrospective of her work?

I still remember my dad reading me this book as a kid.

This would be sad and not frightening but for the fact that I’ve just finished The Handmaid’s Tale.

Album of the week: Everything Now, by Arcade Fire.

Weekend Links

“When good Americans die, they go to Paris.”
― Oscar Wilde

So, we went to Paris for a few days, and didn’t miss any news at all.

Just kidding! Because it’s 2017 and the pace of the spacetime continuum is on warp speed!

The UK had a general election that did not quite go according to the Prime Minister’s plan, and Mr. Comey testified before Congress on the investigations into Russian interference in the US election–sounding for all the world like a victim of sexual assault or pressure from the way the president behaved to the way people are trying to make the subsequent decisions of all involved Mr. Comey’s own fault. It’s been shocking. The US president continued to tweet up a storm (which, let’s be clear, is precisely what kicked off this whole mess with Mr. Comey in the first instance), leading to his own teammates delivering the weakest defense possible to explain away his actions: “He’s just new this this.” No shit, Mr. Speaker. That’s always been the problem, and in no way absolves him of the responsibility of catching the hell up with professional expectations.

At time of writing, the White House has canceled an anticipated state visit to the UK. Trust me, President Trump would go down like a lead balloon at the moment, following his outbursts in response to the London attacks. Current reports are that he doesn’t want to have to deal with prospective protests or negative coverage, the poor dear. Though let’s be clear, the UK government is far from having its ducks in a row at the moment! Nevertheless, it astonishes me how he continues to casually do damage to some of the most enduring relationships in Western democracy, and I continue to be dismayed by the failure of his own (supposedly constitutionally mad) party to check him. The fact that the most likely outcome of the Comey hearing is, at this moment, nothing at all is deeply disheartening.

But a break from that, ducklings! I’m feeling marvelously refreshed after our short holiday–posts coming as soon as I clean the house, do masses of laundry, shop for food, go the gym, try to meditate, and generally try to get our lives back into some semblance of working order. Stand by. Not sure for how long. Meanwhile, I’ve put together a delightful batch of links to make you feel prepped to take on the coming week, regardless of whether or not you are currently stuffed to the brim of delicious French food.

A diverse list of female medieval writers.

I loved–LOVED–the Amazons of Wonder Woman, both the fictional characters and the casting. Different sizes, shapes and colors. Some were teachers, some were fighters, some were senators, some were thin, some were highly muscled, and every last one of them was a badass. Where the hell do I enlist for the Claire Underwood battalion? The outpouring of love and appreciation from other women for this film has been a source of internet joy for me from the get go, but

In tragic nerd news, Adam West passed away. A writer I enjoy pays tribute here.

In heroic and joyous nerd news, the first Black Panther trailer came out!

This generator gave me quite a chuckle. My favorite thus far have been “Islamic Revolutionary Thatcherite” and Post-Colonial Anarcho-Communist.”

Nope.

A fashion designer urges consumer to not buy anything this season. I see the appeal!

 

Album of the week: Ti Amo, by Phoenix 

Weekend Weeks

“Men argue. Nature acts.”
― Voltaire

This year is absolutely flying by, how on earth is it June already? I’ve taken some work home with me this weekend, but it’s all for a good cause as we’re off to Paris next week, and I plan on rewarding my unbalanced work ethic with a trip to see Wonder Woman. Proper summer has finally arrived, but there is one last push required to get to it!

The news this week continued grim and bad for the planet–this week a bit more specifically than usual. Because when you are talking about the entirety of the globe, there’s not much difference between Pittsburgh and Paris. Until our policy is realigned with facts–not just on climate change but on crime and labor and economic growth–we will do damage. Yes to other, but mostly to ourselves.

Here are your links, kittens. Cheer me up with good news or pictures of puppies in the comments.

Go ahead and weep, I welcome the tears. This is how it feels to be systematically excluded; and these dudes are getting a single taste of it and losing their ***. Over a single movie screening. Even if you’re not a fan of the decision, do me a favor and step back to consider the wider optics of that for a moment. 

Here’s some ice for that burn, hapless dudebro.

Trolling is not leading!

Three very different men, all harmed and two dead, but they all decided to step in because they saw that two women were being targeted by hatred and aggression.

Short poems to wreck your insides.

In honor of “covefe.”

Our robot overlords are coming.

I found this piece on President Trump’s rise to power as something of a personal tragedy, a fairytale warning of hubris, an interesting and thoughtful take. Give it a try, even if we disagree politically.

Because one’s need for certain types of healthcare does not depend on how you pray, but whether or not you have a uterus.

Album of the week: Different Days, by The Charlatans

 

Weekend Links: Good. Lord.

“You’re not to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.”
― Malcolm X, By Any Means Necessary

Reading the news this week has been one long continuous headdesk. After claiming that Secretary Clinton couldn’t be trusted with classified information, President Trump…simply divulged classified information to an adversarial power. Once again he also threw his entire messaging team under the bus, after they’d gone out of their way to discredit the early claims of the leaked story, by not only confirming that this actually happened, but that he was perfectly within his rights to do so.

Let’s be clear. Of course the president CAN do and say a lot of things, but that doesn’t make it a good idea much less sound policy. I would like to politely posit that had 44 or alt-45 discussed classified information of any kind with a generally-deemed hostile government, some of you reading this would be foaming with fury right now. Add in any of the extracurricular details and I’d fear for some of your blood pressure levels. I’ve written before that I don’t believe many Americans understand how much of our government’s functionality is not codified in law so much as respected through precedent. This is a textbook example of this theory.

Editor’s note: I typed that above bit on Tuesday. By Thursday…look, I tried to summarize, but here:

Then this was Friday. I’m tired, kittens, here are your links. I’m sure we’ll check in with MORE breaking news again before the end of this weekend. Good bleeding lord.

This thread. It is life.

But, here. Have a palate cleanser before we continue.

Dinosaurs!

Interesting editorial on the difference between conservativism and what the author calls “anti-anti-Trumpism,” or the desire to see liberal positions mocked and trolled more than genuinely pushing for conservative political principles in action. I don’t agree with everything here, but I do see enough of this general attitude to take it as anecdotally true. And if we’re all more concerned with poking the “other” in the eye than actually arguing our own cause or beliefs, then we are well and truly ******.

Longbourne is for sale and it has a secret Nazi past.

This is a couple months old but the Attenbourough-inspired take on Fashion Week made me howl.

If the state of our government weren’t at stake, I could feel some sympathy for a seemingly lonely, narcissistic old fool. Unfortunately, he’s the supposed leader of the free world and I have expectations of him.

Fully intend to buy one of these at some point. Specifically this one. (Editors note: totally bought it.)

Let’s go shopping! (h/t Caitlin Kelly)

Damn it, I’ve missed out.

The Dutch king has a secret life, and it’s kind of great.

Album of the week: Compassion, by Forrest Swords