Why, this just might be the best xmas present I’ve ever received!
First, I get an email from The Nation with the subject line “you DID NOT sign to impeach Donald Trump (WHY NOT?).”
From this alone we can conclude that The Nation must have sent out a mass email survey of some sort recently – one among many similar missives I receive daily from various organs of the Democratic party. Apparently readers were asked to “sign to impeach Donald Trump.” Because that’s how impeachment works: a particular number of readers of a pretentious neoliberal magazine must click “YES” to an email poll.
However, when I tragically failed to timely respond to this embarrassing bid for attention in the guise of an impeachment vehicle, The Nation suddenly got all shouty at me and demanded to know WHY NOT.
Explain yourself, woman!! Do you even read our magazine?! Do you secretly looooove Donald Trump?! How could you???
Because FUCK YOU, The Nation. How’s that?
This morning I get an email from my illustrious Senator Chuck Schumer (D-Wall $treet), presently serving tirelessly as the de facto head of the Democratic party. His subject line is “Yesterday? That was just the start.”
As you might expect, Chuckie is trumpeting Doug Jones beating Roy Moore for the Senate seat abandoned by Jeff Sessions, after Mr. Sessions decided that he could do a lot more damage to peoples’ lives as Trump’s Attorney General than he ever could as Senator from Alabama.
So of course Chuck lays on the usual banal accolades and then he says this:
Now, look, you are welcome to celebrate for a moment. You’ve earned it. This win is thanks to Doug Jones, his incredible team, and you — your calls, your donations, your Facebook posts, your emails to friends. Thank you.
But that moment to celebrate is over. Now it’s time to get back to work.
You had your fun missy, but all that’s over!
Can we just pause for a minute to appreciate how generous it is of Chuckie to allow everyone a brief moment to celebrate a hard-won victory in Alabama?
BZZZT! Show’s over! NOW GET THE FUCK BACK TO WORK!
I am sure you are now wondering how we might toil to best please the honorable Senator? Funny you should ask! Why, it turns out Chuckie wants all of us to give a single dollar to each of the eight most conservative Democratic incumbents running for reelection in the US Senate:
If you’re fired up, the single most important thing you can do to help us seize this moment is to let Democrats across the country know that you have their back.
Baldwin, Brown, Donnelly, Heitkamp, Manchin, McCaskill, Nelson, Tester — those eight Senators are on the frontlines of the fight for the middle class. They’re in the fight of their lives. And they need your support — celebrate last night by splitting $8 between them!
Uh no, sorry Chuck. That is not how I celebrate election victories. I’d prefer to spend my eight bucks – more, even – on a lefty primary challenger for your Senate seat.
“Identity politics!” is not just a weaponized shibboleth conservatives deploy against lefties; the very mainest of mainstream media tosses around the phrase without a trace of critical analysis, never mind introspection. The standard blather usually goes something like: “Democrats made a strategic decision to play identity politics while Republicans focused their party’s campaign on [family values/bootstraps/abortions/tax cuts/whatever shit they happen to be slinging that day].”
But what has long been obvious to me, despite the Democrats’ typical weak-sauce response to the terrible accusation of “playing identity politics” is this: white cis het male is a fucking identity. IT’S TRUE! (I know, right?!) And of course it is the one identity whose supreme position in the socio-political hierarchy it is that conservatives wish to conserve, at all costs, and at the expense of literally everyone else.
Women. People of color. LGBTQ people. Muslims. Immigrants.
Why Democratic leaders (and “journalists”) do not point out this simple, irrefutable fact at every conceivable opportunity is perhaps a topic for another day. (Believe me I have my theories, not least of which is the problem that so many in Democratic leadership positions are themselves white cis het males, as are the money men of Wall Street they serve and upon whom they rely for campaign funds.) But today, I want to highlight a Democrat who calls out this identity politics bullshit brilliantly: Danica Roem.
What’s so awesome about Danica Roem? LET ME COUNT THE WAYS.
Since there are currently no pressing problems facing our great nation, the US House of Reprehensibles has just passed HB 36, a national ban on abortions after 20-weeks. Charmingly entitled “The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” the legislation would force a pregnant patient who is carrying a fetus that is dead, dying, or incompatible with life to carry it to term and give birth, unless the patient is in grave danger of death or “substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.”
According to reality, fetuses are not capable of feeling pain until at least 28 weeks. But since conservatives are highly allergic to reality, perhaps Your Liberal Media™ might helpfully report on this egregious tripe from another angle. Let’s say, just for the sake of argument, that a fetus is indeed capable of feeling pain at 20 weeks.
SO FUCKING WHAT?
You know what’s really painful? Giving birth. (So I’ve heard – I personally dodged that bullet thank Vishnu.) I would like my legislator to promptly propose a bill entitled The Pain-Capable Pregnant Person Protection Act, which provides free abortions on demand to anyone who wishes to avoid the pain of childbirth. The bill should have no problem passing in this congress, seeing how the majority is so concerned about sparing citizens from painful medical procedures.
[CONTENT NOTE: disgusting images of baby squirrels, descriptions of wildly inappropriate human-squirrel interactions.]
Twenty years working wildlife rehab, and Kevin Barton has seen it all. Or he thought he had. At least until Hurricane Irma tore through Florida this week. It wasn’t the variety of species that grabbed his attention. It was the volume. Of utterly common critters, like bunnies and squirrels. Mainly squirrels.
By midweek, the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center of Venice had accepted 140 baby squirrels, from week-old hairless “pinkies” to unweaned juveniles.
ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY FUCKING SQUIRRELS. Yes, what people rebuilding their lives from Irma’s devastation in Florida really need right now… more squirrels.
[CONTENT NOTE: vicious squirrel violence.]
This is no way to start my morning. In a terrifying echo of July’s assaults in Brooklyn, residents of New Orleans are suffering unprovoked attacks by the enemy rodent menace:
NEW ORLEANS – In the Lake Vista neighborhood of New Orleans, neighbors live along lush, tree-lined lanes in harmony with nature.
But, this week nature attacked.
[CONTENT NOTE: Anti-black media reporting and anti-black violence.]
via Color of Change (email):
He called the police on them for trying to get food.
ABC News anchor, Tom Llamas, in Houston to report on Hurricane Harvey, spotted Texans who had recently lost everything entering a grocery store. Instead of reporting on the desperate circumstances with compassion, he actually diverted first responder resources that could be used to save stranded families–and called the police.1
That’s right. Houstonians desperately searching for uncontaminated food and water in order to survive were not only shamed and blasted on social media, but confronted with police as they fought for their lives.
And when we asked Tom Llamas to apologize for his biased and possibly dangerous treatment of Hurricane Harvey victims; instead of owning up to it, he blocked us on Twitter.
Tom Llamas didn’t only wrongfully criminalize disaster victims– he put them in harm’s way. Local authorities recently announced that anyone found “looting” will be faced with mandatory jail time.2 And the District Attorney has escalated burglary charges all the way up to life imprisonment–of course this disproportionately affects poor and Black people who may not have had the money to purchase goods in advance, and will be on the hunt for clean water and food.3
In times of emergency and natural disaster, television news is often the only way that bystanders can ascertain what’s happening. News media has the sacred duty of framing tragedies in an honest, unbiased, and compassionate manner. Unfortunately, we saw this same dishonest and biased reporting during Hurricane Katrina, when thousands of Black families were shamed and criminalized as “looters” while trying to feed their families. Meanwhile, white families were simply characterized as searching for food. And and we know that media representations can have a profoundly negative impact on the ways that people in positions of power and privilege interact with Black people. Research has shown that negative media portrayals can engender antagonism toward people of color and lead to higher tolerance for race-based societal disparities.
The victims of Hurricane Harvey need compassionate and unbiased reporting in the wake of this horrific natural disaster–not criminalization and unnecessary police intervention. It’s time for Tom Llamas and ABC to stop running and apologize.
Until justice is real,
— Brandi, Arisha, Rashad, Anika, Jade, Evan, Corina, the rest of the Color Of Change team
- “ABC News reporter covering Hurricane Harvey gets slammed online after reporting alleged looters to police.” Business Insider, 28 August 2017. http://act.colorofchange.org/go/8690?t=9&akid=7843%2E2505660%2Eyv_d6J
- “In Houston, Authorities Are Toughening Penalties As Warning To Would-Be Looters.” NPR, August 2017. http://act.colorofchange.org/go/8691?t=11&akid=7843%2E2505660%2Eyv_d6J
- “Race and class are the biggest issues around Hurricane Harvey.” The Root, 31 August 2017. http://act.colorofchange.org/go/8692?t=13&akid=7843%2E2505660%2Eyv_d6J
Color Of Change is building a movement to elevate the voices of Black folks and our allies, and win real social and political change. Help keep our movement strong.
UPDATE [h/t Alyssa Gonzalez]: If you want to know why this is so urgent and important, here’s why.
Armed right-wing paramilitary groups are patrolling parts of Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey under the guise of helping hurricane victims.
A group of “Proud Boys” — a men’s rights group with fascist leanings — photographed themselves wading through flooded neighborhoods with assault weapons and flashing a hand signal associated with extremist militia groups. They refer to themselves as an “anti looting patrol.”
Of course they do. And that headline should read: Armed White Men Are Roaming Texas Floods Looking For Black People To Shoot. See, starving white people are not looters by definition. They’re simply “finding food.” Starving black people? Well, not so much.
Ladies and gentlemen, behold the power of YOUR LIBERAL MEDIA.
I go off the grid for a little R&R, and I return to this? White supremacist terrorism and imminent nuclear war? I mean, I can barely even walk on land yet without my snorkel flippers attached to my feet and my butt cheeks are still painfully sunburned (don’t ask). JFC. [Read more…]
According to a breaking story in The New York Times, Reince Priebus has just been “pushed out” as White House Chief of Staff.
The New York Times didn’t specify whether Priebus was asked to resign, outright fired, or physically thrown out of a West Wing window (thus the term “pushed out”). The Times apparently has no fucking clue what just went down, but to be fair, Priebus himself probably has no idea what just hit him either.
Hey Reince! Here’s a helpful hint: it rhymes with “pooch.”
White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci
(image: Yuri Gripas/Reuters)
So Ryan Lizza, a Big Willie reporter at The New Yorker, received a phone call Wednesday night from our fancy new White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci. Naturally Lizza wrote all about it, and it’s the funniest thing I’ve seen since…since…well, since yesterday’s news feed.