Here’s a few thoughts on some of the more eye-catching stuff I spotted over the long holiday weekend.

First, four things that make me livid.

Politico: HUD moves to allow discrimination against homeless transgender people – This is just one of the ways the Trump administration is attacking the transgender community right now. They’re also working to roll back Obama-era medical protections, among other things. The Trump administration, and the GOP in general, are daily attacking women, children, LGBT+ people, and non-white people. The GOP and the Trump administration are a pack of power-hungry sociopaths intent on driving the world back into the dark ages in a mad attempt to hold on to their weakening grip on power.

AP: Overturning Roe v. Wade wouldn’t turn back the clock to 1973 – What idiot wrote this ridiculous bullshit. Holy hell. The GOP’s war on women has never been about saving babies, you can tell by how they treat children after they’re born. It’s always been about controlling women. And it’s not just about abortion – these assholes are trying to ban contraception, too. Also see above, re: transgender rights. The GOP seeks to drive the country back to a mythical age where they held all the power and money, brown and black people were second class citizens if not outright slaves, gay and trans people didn’t exist, and women kept their mouths shut and stayed in the kitchen. That is the actual goal. And then some moron at the AP staggers into the toilet and shits out this ignorant, gawdawful tripe. This garbage really makes my slappin’ hand itch.

Snopes: Does This Video Show Nancy Pelosi Drunk and Slurring Her Speech? – It does not. This is one among several faked videos that attempt to portray Nancy Pelosi as sick, drunk, and/or incompetent, just like the GOP and Trump’s stooges did to Hillary Clinton, and just like they do to every woman in power who kicks their ass. Because women in power terrify these assholes to the very marrow of their rotting bones.

The Intercept: Thousands of Immigrants Suffer in Solitary Confinement – Okay, so, to be upfront, I don’t actually trust The Intercept that much because of its affiliation with co-founder Glenn Greenwald. Glenn Greenwald is a hack. However, this article was written in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and they do damn good work, so give it a read. It details some of the horrifying shit ICE is doing in our name.

Second, six things that are funny and/or good.

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: Runaway Train 25 – So, 25 years ago this year Soul Asylum released “Runaway Train.” The video for the song was made in collaboration with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and featured photos of 36 missing kids. Thanks to that video, 21 of the 36 kids were found. This year, the NCMEC remade the song. If you click through and watch the new video on their website, it’ll be dynamically generated as you watch, using your location to show you photos of missing kids from your area. That’s amazing. Click through, watch, and share.

Fox KTVU: Man allegedly hiding drugs in butt accidentally shoots himself in testicles, report says – This dumb-ass stuck a loaded gun in his front pocket and, unsurprisingly, shot himself in the balls. While being operated on, a bag of weed fell out of ass. When he was taken to jail and searched, a second bag of weed fell out of his ass. This happened in Washington. “Why in the hell does this guy have two bags of weed up his ass in Washington, where it’s legal?” I demanded upon reading the story. “Hey now, don’t be kinkshaming people,” my boyfriend responded, and I can’t think of a better explanation.

io9: It’s Official: The Sonic the Hedgehog Movie Is Being Pushed to 2020 – The Sonic movie has been pushed back to February next year. I fully expect it to quietly disappear and never be heard from again.

Garbage Day: A Tale Of Two Weird Al Tumblr Accounts – Garbage Day is one of my new favorite email newsletters. It comes out once a week on Friday and it’s full of fun Internet detritus. 10/10, highly recommend.

The Onion: Nancy Pelosi Slams Edited Footage With Claim That When She’s Drunk You’ll Fucking Know It – “Pelosi reportedly went on to do a keg stand on the Capitol lawn to demonstrate exactly what ‘you fucking geniuses’ should be on the lookout for.” 🤣😂

AV Club: #Resistance grifters Ed and Brian Krassenstein booted from Twitter, and good riddance – There are a variety of jackoffs making bank off fear and conspiracy theories, and – Surprise! – they ain’t all Republican. There are a whole bunch of ’em conning liberals with 100+ tweet threads on Twitter, pausing only to hawk their t-shirts and latest terrible book. The Krassensteins were a couple of the more prolific grifters working the “Twitter Resistance” and they just got kicked off Twitter.

Third, one thing that is interesting.

AV Club: The Middle Ages weren’t as sexist as Game Of Thrones would have you believe – As it turns out, the Middle Ages weren’t as sexist as you might think. I mean, they weren’t great, they just weren’t as bad as your high school history classes might have led you to believe. This article is contrasted against Game of Thrones because that’s how you get people to click through on stuff, but it’s still an interesting read.

And last, a tiny kitten.

Click for: Tiny, tiny gray kitten. – Mew!

So, Pelosi and the Democrats were supposed to meet with Trump yesterday morning to talk infrastructure. Instead, Trump stormed in to the meeting, threw a temper tantrum, demanded that the investigations into him be shut down before he agreed to any infrastructure stuff, and then stormed out – to a press conference in the Rose Garden, where he had a little 10-minute meltdown in front of the press.

Then, later on in the day, the official White House Facebook page and Twitter posted these bizarre little quotes from Trump’s tantrum.

Trump Tantrum Quote 1

Trump Tantrum Quote 2

Trump Tantrum Quote 3

Trump Tantrum Quote 4

And I don’t understand how people see this and don’t instantly go, “Oh, shit, that’s not good. This is not the sign of a functioning administration or a well mind. We should do something about this immediately.” Like, there are people out there who think this is okay. I mean, not a lot of people, granted, but it concerns me.

Also, for anyone who’d like to have a bit of fun, you can snag a blank template here, from Parker Molloy. She’s using this font, which is pretty similar to the font the White House used.

(Photo credit: Donald Trump, by Gage Skidmore. Source and licensing.)

Today in shit I’m pissed/worried about, we’ve got the cops probably illegally screwing over journalist Bryan Carmody, some plans we’ve just discovered from Russian troll farms that show they’re targeting the racial divides in America, a bit about regulating Facebook (and other social platforms) and what that might look like, the powers the House gets when they start impeachment inquiries, and the 2020 campaign ad wars.

📰 CNN: In San Francisco, an attack on press freedoms and echoes of autocracy
In a whole bunch of states there are laws called “shield laws” that protect journalists from revealing their sources. California is one of those states.

Quick primer: Journalists mostly get news from sources, and sometimes those sources are breaking the law when they give journalists information. Even when they’re not breaking the law, sources can face serious consequences for giving information to journalists, up to and including the loss of their lives. Journalists have an ethical duty to protect their sources. This is how journalists end up in jail for refusing to reveal sources sometimes.

In states with shield laws (I think… 30? states have shield laws on the record? Something like that.) journalists are legally protected from being forced to reveal their sources.

So back on May 10, San Francisco cops raided the home of journalist Bryan Carmody and seized all his equipment in an attempt to discover his source on a story he wrote about the weird death of San Fran public defender Jeffrey Adachi. The raid was probably conducted with an illegal search warrant that the cops may have gotten by lying to the judge they got it from, among other problems with the situation.

If you love the idea of a free press, you should be up in arms about this happening.

🇷🇺 Vox: Secret documents show Russian plot to stoke racial violence in America
Russian troll farms are trying to use America’s racial tensions to incite violence in America, with the end goal of forcing a collapse of America.

Oh, pshaw, you say, with a dismissive wave of your hand. America won’t “collapse.”

Are you not paying attention? America is already collapsing. America has been in collapse for like 30+ years now. Get your heads out of your asses. This shit is real. It is not hyperbole. Get it together, America.

We are under attack. Russia is coming for us. So are other state actors. They’re using our own ignorance and biases against us and it is working.

📱 TechCrunch: What does ‘regulating Facebook’ mean? Here’s an example
Yes, social media needs to be regulated, including Facebook. Maybe especially Facebook. See above.

Lots of “social” platforms, as well as platforms like Google, with their search results and various algorithms, are passing along tons of outright disinformation. This isn’t about censorship; this is about stopping the spread of propaganda.

Right now Facebook and their ilk are refusing to moderate their platforms to stop the spread of various forms of propaganda and misinformation. When they’re called on it they sheepishly tuck their hands in their pockets and say Well, shucks, folks, that’s not our responsibility, that’s yours, and sure, they’re not entirely wrong there. Some of this is on us.

But not all of it, and certainly not the entire burden of it.

Regulate social media, people. Stop letting them get away with lying to us and allowing their platforms to be used for propaganda crusades just so they can make advertising money.

⚖️ Lawfare: What Powers Does a Formal Impeachment Inquiry Give the House?
House Democrats are muttering about impeachment again, as they should be.

I’ve said in the past that I didn’t think the House should impeach if they can’t get a conviction, but I’ve since changed my mind. I think Trump’s gonna beat Democrats to death with impeachment either way, so they might as well drag his ass through the hearings.

Also, when they fire up the impeachment engines, they get access to some extra legal powers. Here’s a look at what those are.

📱 Vox: Trump’s 2020 campaign is buying a whole lot of Facebook ads
The campaign ad wars are heating up, and Facebook is the front lines. Keep an eye on the posts you see in your newsfeed, and think critically about anything you see with the “sponsored” tag.

Okay kids, this blog is officially an Elizabeth Warren fansite now.

I often wonder WTF can be done about Fox News and similar propaganda outlets. I’m a little baffled about how you legislate against shit like Fox News without impinging on the free press. There’s some basic things you can do like reinstating the Fairness Doctrine and monopoly-busting media conglomerates like Sinclair and others, but… I mean, for starters, the FCC used to make the calls when it came to the Fairness Doctrine and the FCC’s been politicized since then. Can you safely regulate the news without opening a Pandora’s Box? In these partisan times? Like, I dunno, guys. It worries me.

Here’s a few other stories to check out, while you’ve got a minute.

Barr has assigned the federal prosecutor in Connecticut to investigate the oranges origins of the Russia investigations. Barr’s also working with the CIA, the DNI and the FBI to investigate those origins. I’m sure that will all be fair and non-partisan and trustworthy.

Meanwhile, CNN’s got photos of migrant/refugee kids sleeping on the ground, outside, with nothing but those silver blankets, at a Texas Border Patrol station, over the weekend. This is just your daily reminder that the US is the bad guys now.

And, to wrap things up, Lindsey Graham encouraged Don Trump Jr. to plead the Fifth when he appears before the Senate Intelligence Committee, so #LindseyGrahamResign has been trending all day on Twitter.

But seriously, I’m liking Elizabeth Warren a lot. It’s early days yet in the 2020 election, but so far, she’s at the top of my favorites list.

Image credit: Elizabeth Warren by Gage Skidmore. Source and licensing.

I was going to start this post by saying it’s terrifying to be a woman right now, but then I remembered it’s terrifying to be anything but a straight white dude right now, so there’s that, I guess.

I knew I didn’t want kids, so I tried to get permanently sterilized the last time a Republican was in office, and couldn’t manage it. Too young, didn’t have kids, doctors wouldn’t do it. 🙄 I was in my thirties and Obama was in office before I could finally find a doctor I could talk into a sterilization procedure. And even then I had to sign a waver promising not to sue him “when” I changed my mind.

There are a lot of birth control options out there, but the way things are going? I wouldn’t settle for anything less than a permanent option. The way some of these bills are written outlaw all kinds of birth control – even IUDs.

Every day I wake up glad I had that shit sorted out permanently. Every single day.

There’s a few laws like this one ☝️☝️☝️ floating around various states’ congresses, too, laws criminalizing “false reports” of rapes. Which, y’know, on its surface sounds okay, right? Like, obviously it should be illegal to falsely accuse someone of rape. Sure. Except it already is? Making a false police report is already illegal. You don’t need an extra law for this.

Y’know, unless you’re one of these turds who think women just go happy-assing around falsely accusing men of rape eight times a day. Which is not a thing that happens, by the way. Rape is wildly underreported because it’s so damn difficult to get a conviction and the process is, itself, traumatizing. False rape accusations are pretty damn rare. This is not, as far as anyone sensible can tell, actually a problem.

What is a problem, what the point of these laws are, is a lot of men being super mad about women getting all uppity and thinking we ought to have rights and be treated like actual human beings, and maybe be able to get through a whole day without some entitled asshat groping us or harassing us at work, or catcalling us, or raping us, or telling us what we can do with our own damn bodies.

Look, I don’t know what to tell you. I hear a lot of centrists complaining about the emphasis on identity politics on the left. “It’s going to cost us the election,” they say. But in case you’re not aware, it is goddamn terrifying out here if you’re not a straight white man. Every single day I get up and read a new story about dicks in congress trying to take my rights away, about black women dying during childbirth because doctors won’t treat them as well as white women, about black guys getting shot in the street by cops, about brown kids getting ripped away from their parents and held in cells and dying preventable deaths because ICE assholes on the border can’t see non-white people as human, about LGBT+ people dying for any of a million reasons because straight people hate them, about non-white people losing their votes.

I am a straight white woman with a ton of privilege living in a fairly blue state, and I am out here scared to death of what these fuckers are going to do to me. I can’t imagine what it feels like to be LGBT+ and/or non-white right now. I’m amazed they’re leaving their houses and getting about their lives at all. All I want to do is hide under the bed until there’s a Democrat in office.

So you want me to trust a man in public office? Dude I don’t know. You’re asking for a lot. You want me to set aside identity politics, act like it’s not important? That’s crazy talk. Any Democrat is probably better than a Republican in office right now, and I guess I’ll have to vote that way regardless of who ends up getting the nod, but you better believe identity politics are at the top of my To-Do List right now. You better believe it’s at the top of a lot of To-Do Lists right now. Ignoring that and acting like it isn’t important is going to bite us right in the ass.

Whew. Vacation week. That means I finally have an opportunity to string together a few coherent thoughts that don’t have to do with marketing, reports, or what I’m putting on somebody’s social media platforms today. It’s been a busy couple of months.

At any rate. A few thoughts.

I am deeply concerned about the integrity of the 2020 elections. I think the Trump administration and its affiliates (guys like Rudy Giuliani) are already hard at work messing with the upcoming election. I think getting an honest election result will be a miracle. But it might happen. And if it does happen?

Then I’m even more concerned about the peaceful transfer of power from the Trump administration to whomever comes next.

But let’s do one worse: I think there’s a better than average chance that Trump wins in 2020. At least that means he has to leave in 2024, right? Well what on Earth makes you think that? Because it’s illegal for him to serve more than two terms? Since when has something being illegal ever stopped him?

Trump’s already sending up trial balloons about “coup attempts” and making “jokes” about being owed two more years due to the Mueller investigation. Let me remind you: first he “jokes” about something, then he gets serious about it, then he does it. That’s how Trump works.

Let me also point out that Trump is fighting Congress’ oversight authority harder than any president ever has before. He’s refusing to let staff answer subpoenas. He’s fighting investigations tooth and nail. Trump is a man who thinks that being president makes him a dictator, and he’s furious whenever he runs into a situation that doesn’t let him behave that way. That’s part of the reason why he’s so in love with executive orders. He gets to, in theory, just say a thing and make it happen.

Trump is a man who doesn’t just want to be a dictator. He believes he deserves to be a dictator. He believes that it is right and necessary for him to be a dictator. He desperately wants to be the United States’ Putin.

I realize that sounds like hyperbole, and that people don’t want to believe it. Americans – the ones who are against this sort of thing, anyway – are very committed to their “it can’t happen here” mentality.

It can happen here. It is happening here. Right now. You’re watching it happen.

But what do you do about it? Dude I don’t know. Call your electeds. That’s all I’ve got. Call them every day. Email them every day. Hit them up on Twitter and Facebook every day. Make a little morning ritual of it. Give yourself a half hour every morning to slide into the DMs of all your electeds and remind them that the current president of the United States is an actual criminal and for pity’s sake could they please grow a pair and do something about that?

Image credit: Donald Trump, by Gage Skidmore. Source and licensing.

The Mueller Report, as redacted by William Barr, is now available. It’s 448 pages long, and you can read it, well, basically everywhere, I think, but here it is at the Washington Post. (Also at NPR, in case you hit WaPo’s paywall.)

I haven’t had a chance to read the report and I’m not seeing many roundups of high points from news sources yet. I think the report just hit the web, so I assume it’ll take everyone a bit to get their reporting together.

A few things to know about the report, though:

  1. This version of the report was redacted by William Barr, who is a Trump flunky through-and-through, and who also has a history of covering up shady dealings for shady administrations.
  2. Trump’s attorneys got to see the report before anyone else did, along with the Trump administration and coverup artist Barr. They’re already out in full spin mode, lying their fool heads off and shoveling the bullshit just as fast as they can.

I’ll be back later on with links to good stuff when folks start issuing roundups and analysis of the report.

Updates (Added As I Find Them)

UPDATE: Okay, as of 11am (PST), it seems like the deluge of hot takes has slowed down a smidge. I’ve got some other stuff to handle, so I’m off for a bit. I’ll probably toss up a new post later this afternoon/evening with a roundup of (hopefully) some more nuanced analysis and commentary.