Government shutdown news, anti-vaxxers, Medicaid, & blackface

Settle in for another shutdown, kids. It looks like they’re gearing up for it in Congress.

Settle in for another shutdown, kids. It looks like they’re gearing up for it in Congress.

5 Things to Read Today

🤬 New York Times: Talks Over Border Security Break Down, Imperiling Effort to Prevent Shutdown

Negotiations over the spending bill crapped out on Sunday. If Congress doesn’t get it together by this Friday at midnight, we’re shutting down again. And hell, even if they do get it together, there’s a fair chance Trump just won’t sign the damn thing, because it doesn’t have his wall money.

🛫 The Hill: Flight attendant union calls for general strike if government shuts down again

Meanwhile, Sara Nelson, the president of the Association of Flight Attendants, a huge flight attendant union, is calling for a general strike if they shut the government down again. Reminder: it’s usually flight problems that gets the government open again once they shut down, because it turns out senators and representatives don’t like being trapped in DC.

😲 Pew Research Center: About a third of Americans say blackface in a Halloween costume is acceptable at least sometimes

I cannot believe that this still needs saying in 2019. Blackface is never, under any circumstances, for any reason, acceptable. Never ever, not even one time, no matter how “funny” or “clever” or “topical” or whatever you think you are. Do not. Just don’t.

⚕️ Vox: Utah Republicans have officially blocked their state’s voter-approved Medicaid expansion

Back in November Utah voters voted to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). The Republican legislature in Utah decided, Naaaah, and instead passed a bill that only allowed a partial expansion. The bill’s on the way to the Utah governor to be signed.

💉 The Oregonian: Proposal would eliminate personal vaccine exemption for Oregon school kids

In Oregon you can get a personal exemption from vaccinations and still send your kids to school. This is how anti-vaxxers get their kids into classes, and anti-vaxxers are the reason why we have a measles outbreak in Oregon. State rep Mitch Greenlick (D) has a bill proposed that would eliminate non-medical exemptions for kids, meaning you’d have to have an actual reason for not vaccinating your kids to get them into school.

Re: Ghostbusters 2020

I don’t know if I have the strength and patience for one more round of pissbaby nerdrage over a Ghostbusters movie, people.

Maaaan. They’re doing another Ghostbusters sequel/reboot/thing.

This one’s going to be in the Bill Murray/Dan Aykroyd/etc. “universe,” not a sequel to the 2016 Ghostbusters, and I just, uugh.

I enjoyed the 2016 Ghostbusters. It was funny and fun, Chris Hemsworth was a gem, and Kate McKinnon’s Jillian was the best. I thought it had a few problems. Leslie Jones was pretty underserved by her character, for starters. They should have given her something better to work with. But overall? Good movie. Laughed my ass off.

Then the Internet’s Pissbaby Men’s League got their knickers all in a twist over the movie because – *gasp!* – there were girls in it. If you don’t remember, it turned into a whole bullshit thing. They deliberately tanked the scores for the movie on review sites. If you mentioned the movie on social media (particularly Twitter), pissbabies ganged up on you and shat all over your account.

It was endless. They chased Leslie Jones off Twitter with horrific, racist abuse. Parts of Twitter and Reddit were wall-to-wall fat jokes and hate for Melissa McCarthy.

All because they put girls in a Ghostbusters movie.

Now they’re doing this sequel/reboot/whatever thing in the “original universe” and there’s already pissbabies crowing about it on Twitter and shitting up women’s tweets about it. And I just…

If I have to listen to one more crybaby who’s mad because he’s such a socially-inept trash person that he can’t get laid so he’s mad about women doing literally anything and turns up for every new inclusive nerd thing to shit all over it, my hand to god, I will lose my entire damn mind.

See, here’s the thing: I grew up watching Ghostbusters. I loved the first movie, I loved the cartoon, I even loved the considerably less-than-stellar Ghostbusters II. I had the toys, I think I even dressed as a Ghostbuster for Halloween once. I loved Ghostbusters 2016.

I want to love this new movie (assuming it even gets made, which is up in the air, since they’ve been trying to make a third Ghostbusters for like 30 years and it hasn’t happened yet).

But now Ghostbusters is a thing. And if I go see the movie, or talk about it, I have to feel like I’m somehow supporting or encouraging the Pissbaby Men’s League. Like, I just want to watch people be funny and fight ghosts with weird laser guns.

I’m living in a golden age of nerddom, and all the nerdy things I love are getting more and more inclusive of women and non-white and non-straight/cis people (well, that one’s moving a bit slower, but we’re getting there), and I feel like the things I love are now more available for more people to love, which is awesome. Except every time someone tries to open up a new realm of nerddom for more people to enjoy, this little clique of assholes rages up and shits all over everyone, and ruins it.

It’s just so tedious and tiresome.

So, assuming they manage to make a new Ghostbusters, I dunno. I probably won’t bother watching it in the theater. Not sure I’ll bother renting it or even Netflixing it. I just can’t stand the idea of encouraging these assholes anymore.

Spider-Man, Crickets, Apples & TSS

The trailer for “Spider-Man: Far From Home” dropped, plus I have a couple of interesting things for you to read.

We got a Far From Home trailer! Mysterio looks great. I’m looking forward to Nick Fury and Spider-Man. Kind of weird to see Nick Fury all… Nick Fury-ed up, though. He’d ditched SHIELD after Civil War, then we saw him driving around with Maria Hill briefly at the end of Infinity War, having dropped his “incognito” look for full Fury regalia. No explanations given for that, so I’m hoping we find out what he’s been up to since Civil War, either in Spider-Man 2 or Endgame.

I do feel bad for Far From Home, having to follow Into the Spider-verse. That bar has been set pretty damn high, folks.

Okay, let’s read some stuff!

  • The Atlantic: Animals Keep Creating Mysteries by Sounding Weird – Okay, remember how there were those “sonic attacks” that American diplomats were dealing with in Cuba, and everyone was baffled, and people were getting brain damage and whatnot? Turns out: Crickets. Crickets and bullshit, apparently, as that whole “permanent brain damage” thing was based on wildly flimsy evidence.
  • Chuck Wendig: In Which I Rank Grocery Store Apples – Chuck Wendig is an author with a highly entertaining Twitter account, and one of the things he occasionally does on Twitter is review heirloom apples (hilariously). Well, apple season is pretty much over, so he’s reviewing grocery store apples (hilariously).
  • Lifehacker: Everything You Think You Know About Toxic Shock Syndrome Is Probably Wrong – This was a pretty informative and interesting read about TSS, a rare disease vagina-having people can get from putting things in their vaginas. (Mostly tampons, but not always.) It’s long, but worth a read, especially if you have a vagina you need to take care of.

And that’s all I’ve got today. The rest is all politics, and really, there’s not much new there to report. We’re still shut down, Trump and the GOP are still trash, everything is awful, all that jazz. But hey, The Flash is back on tonight, so that’s something to look forward to.

The shutdown drags on…

Here’s some news about the ongoing government shutdown, Trump’s demands to address the nation during prime time on Tuesday, and, just for funsies, “Supernatural.”

Some good news: Russell Vought, the acting director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, claims the IRS will pay out tax refunds even if the government is still shut down. Details as to how they’ll do that are thin on the ground, considering they haven’t been legally allowed to disperse funds without actually having the funds in the past. And they won’t have funds until a spending bill gets passed. So I guess we’ll see?

And some bad news: The Dept. of Agriculture, which runs the SNAP program (“food stamps”), doesn’t know how much longer they’ll be able to pay those out. That’s real bad, folks.

Meanwhile, Trump wants to address the nation tomorrow at 9 p.m. so he can lie at us some more about his border wall. News folks were reporting earlier that network stations weren’t sure if they were going to carry the address, but the article I linked says they will. I’m not sure if that’s been updated recently or what. Keep an eye on that, I guess. And of course, if you do bump into Trump during prime time tomorrow evening, don’t believe a word he says. The man is pathologically unable to tell the truth.

Trump keeps saying he’s going to declare a national emergency and use his emergency powers to build his wall, and the House Democrats plan to meet him in court if he tries it. Other experts have said that a national emergency and presidential emergency powers still won’t get the wall built. NPR has a fact check, if you’re interested.

And, to wrap things up on a lighter note, it looks like Supernatural‘s 300th episode is going to have some favorite old faces involved somehow.

(Photo credit: White House in Washington, D.C. on Wikimedia Commons. Source and licensing.)

What did I read in 2018?

Most of these got read during long TV hiatuses – winter break, summer, that sort of thing.

One of my New Year’s resolutions last year was to read 30 books this year. I actually read 60, but they were mostly re-reads. I think 16 of these were new reads (bolded). Next year: more new reads.

  • The Herald Spy Trilogy, Mercedes Lackey (3 Books)
  • The Mage Wars Trilogy, Mercedes Lackey (3 Books)
  • Fire & Fury: Inside the Trump White House, Michael Wolff
  • The Last Herald-Mage Trilogy, Mercedes Lackey (3 Books)
  • The Arrows of the Queen Trilogy, Mercedes Lackey (3 Books)
  • The Mage Winds Trilogy, Mercedes Lackey (3 Books)
  • The Mage Storms Trilogy, Mercedes Lackey (3 Books)
  • The Owl Mage Trilogy, Mercedes Lackey (3 Books)
  • Vows & Honor, Mercedes Lackey (3 Books)
  • Kerowyn’s Tale, Mercedes Lackey
  • Exile’s Honor, Mercedes Lackey
  • Exile’s Valor, Mercedes Lackey
  • Take a Thief, Mercedes Lackey
  • The Collegium Chronicles, Mercedes Lackey (5 Books)
  • Wee Free Men, Terry Pratchett
  • A Hat Full of Sky, Terry Pratchett
  • Wintersmith, Terry Pratchett
  • I Shall Wear Midnight, Terry Pratchett
  • The Shepherd’s Crown, Terry Pratchett
  • Lords & Ladies, Terry Pratchett
  • Carpe Jugulum, Terry Pratchett
  • Witches Abroad, Terry Pratchett
  • I’ll Be Gone In The Dark, Michelle McNamara
  • Brief Cases, Jim Butcher
  • Storm Front, Jim Butcher
  • Fool Moon, Jim Butcher
  • Grave Peril, Jim Butcher
  • Summer Knight, Jim Butcher
  • Death Masks, Jim Butcher
  • Blood Rites, Jim Butcher
  • Dead Beat, Jim Butcher
  • Proven Guilty, Jim Butcher
  • White Night, Jim Butcher
  • Small Favor, Jim Butcher
  • Turn Coat, Jim Butcher
  • Changes, Jim Butcher
  • Ghost Story, Jim Butcher
  • Cold Days, Jim Butcher
  • Skin Game, Jim Butcher
  • Firefly: Big Damn Hero, James Lovegrove & Nancy Holder

Halfway out of the Dark

“On every world, wherever people are, in the deepest part of the winter, at the exact mid-point, everybody stops and turns and hugs. As if to say, ‘Well done. Well done, everyone! We’re halfway out of the dark.'” – Doctor Who, “A Christmas Carol”

“Amy and Rory are trapped on a crashing space liner, and the only way the Doctor can rescue them is to save the soul of a lonely old miser, Kazran Sardick. But is Sardick, the richest man in Sardicktown, beyond redemption? And what is lurking in the fogs of Christmas Eve?” (“A Christmas Carol,” Doctor Who (IMDB | Amazon)